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Oil Company Lawsuit Against US SEC Threatens EITI

24th October 2012

Source: PWYP USA 

As the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) meets in Lusaka, Zambia this week to discuss the future of the initiative, the Publish What You Pay United States coalition takes the following position:

As EITI Civil Society Board Members head to Lusaka for these crucial negotiations on the future of the EITI, we are extremely disappointed that the American Petroleum Institute (API) along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, has filed a lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking to overturn oil and mineral payment disclosure legislation, Section 1504 of the 2010 U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as its implementing regulations. Leading members of the API, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Statoil currently serve as EITI International Board Members, and a large number of EITI Supporting Companies are API members. These EITI Board Members and Supporting Companies have made repeated public statements of support for transparency and the principles and objectives of EITI, and will play a leading role in Lusaka in the critical negotiations on the future of the EITI and its reporting standard through the formal EITI Strategy Review Process.

However, the legitimacy of the EITI Strategy Review Process, and the credibility of the EITI brand are jeopardized if the same companies negotiating EITI disclosure standards in Lusaka support a lawsuit that seeks to overturn U.S. payment disclosure legislation and regulation intended to strengthen the EITI standard.

Publish What You Pay United States calls on EITI International Board Members and EITI Supporting Companies that are also members of API, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the National Foreign Trade Council to:

Make public their position on the lawsuit to overturn United States transparency law and regulations, and make clear whether they are formally backing the lawsuit. PWYP US will consider the non-publication of a position to constitute support of the lawsuit.

Make public their positions on the specific proposals for improvements to the EITI standard under negotiation within the EITI Strategy Review Process. Oil companies involved in the EITI standard negotiations have yet to make public their proposals, analysis or positions on specific standard improvements, such as project-by-project reporting, or contract and licensing transparency.

We call on companies to make public their positions by Friday, October 26, 2012.

For more information contact: Isabel Munilla at imunilla (at) pwypusa.org.

Notes to Editors:

The lawsuit was filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the National Foreign Trade Council against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on October 10, 2012.

- PWYP US member press releases on API Lawsuit: Oxfam, Global Witness, Revenue Watch Institute, ONE

- U.S. Congress Press Release: Cardin, Lugar Respond To Big Oil Challenge To Transparency Regulations

- List of EITI Corporate Board Members, list of EITI Supporting Companies

- Links to description of EITI Strategy Review Process, Proposals for improvements by Civil Society Board Members

- Links to: Section 1504 legislation, SEC Rule release news, SEC Rule summary, U.S. legislative history

 

Click here to download a PDF version of this statement.