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NGO Rejoinder

Most companies endorse implementation of strong US transparency law

...several Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)-supporting companies confirmed their support for the global transparency standard. This sends a strong message to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)...

BP, BHP, Eni, Gold Fields, Kosmos, Newmont, Rio Tinto, and Total all submitted statements illustrating their companies’ willingness to uphold their obligations under the EITI-supporting company expectations to publicly declare support for the EITI Standard and a mandatory disclosure rule in the US that aligns with the Standard. “This is an important moment for the oil industry in particular,” said Kathleen Brophy, Director of Publish What You Pay-US. “This rule is a test for how oil and gas companies want the world to see them. Are they for secrecy, or are they for the public’s and investors’ right to know?...

EITI Board Member Chevron and EITI Supporting Company ConocoPhillips both mentioned competitive harm and undue compliance costs as their primary concerns...these hypothetical concerns have been disproven by the experience of 850 companies that have now disclosed...more than $800 billion in payments under payment disclosure laws in Canada, the EU, Norway and the UK. Barrick and Shell expressed their support for the EITI Standard but failed to promote the adoption of a strong rule in the US. A number of other companies including ArcelorMittal, Equinor, Exxon, Freeport McMoRan, Hudbay Minerals, and Kinross failed to use this opportunity to expressly support the EITI Standard or call on the SEC to align its final rule with the Standard.

A recent comment from French oil major Total to the SEC further debunks the burdensome compliance cost argument...Total shared that its costs for compliance with the EU payment disclosure regulations represented roughly .0007% of the company’s overall operating costs in 2019...

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