WASHINGTON, Sept.22 (Reuters) – US oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) failed to meet a core transparency standard set by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a global body anti-corruption campaign on which companies have board seats, the EITI said on Wednesday.
Exxon and Chevron have refused to publicly disclose taxes and other payments they have made to governments in countries where they operate that are not EITI members, the group said in a spreadsheet detailing compliance by the EITI. member companies of its standards.
The Norway-based EITI, which was founded two decades ago and has approximately 55 member countries, implements voluntary global standards to promote open and responsible management of oil, gas and mineral resources to help prevent corruption in all resource-rich countries.
Countries in which Exxon has operated that are not members of the EITI include Qatar, Pakistan and India, according to its company’s website. The non-EITI countries in which Chevron has operated are China and Angola.
ConocoPhillips (COP.N), which is not on the EITI board, is another member who does not disclose payments to non-EITI countries, the group said. He has had operations in countries like Libya, Malaysia, and China.
Exxon spokesman Casey Norton said Exxon complies with all laws in effect today.
Other U.S. companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The publication of the EITI, based on publicly available information, could increase pressure on companies, already under fire from shareholders, campaigners and lawmakers for greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.
It also highlights a growing governance gap between the US-based oil majors and those in Europe, which are widely seen as doing better on climate and transparency.
European companies BP (BP.L), Shell (RDSa.L) and Total (TTEF.PA) all publicly disclose their taxes and payments to non-EITI countries, the group said.
The EITI released the data for the first time since the standards were introduced in 2018, after pressure from civil society groups including Publish What You Pay-US (PWYP-US) and Oxfam America.
It is not mandatory that companies, which as EITI members make annual payments to help fund the management of the group, follow the group standards.
But EITI board chair Helen Clark said in July, without giving further details, that the board’s oversight committee would look into the consequences for companies failing to meet the group’s expectations. , maybe in October.
Clark said on Wednesday that the publication of companies that do not meet expectations will help EITI members “start a dialogue to improve corporate accountability and transparency.” She said there was still work to be done to clarify expectations, “but our hope is that this will spur a ‘race to the top’ to meet or exceed them.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to consider the implementation next April of a measure of the Wall Street reform law of 2010 known as Dodd Frank, which would require disclosure from energy companies. and mining on payments to all foreign governments.
PWYP-US said US companies supporting the EITI are enjoying the reputation of participating in the EITI without meeting basic membership expectations.
EITI member companies and in particular members of its board of directors must ensure that the credibility of the group is not undermined by companies that are not transparent, said Carly Oboth, Interim Director of PWYP -United States.
“Otherwise, it will be clear that this global transparency initiative has become a victim of corporate capture,” Oboth said.
Reporting by Timothy Gardner Editing by Marguerita Choy and Steve Orlofsky
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