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NGO Rejoinder

26 Oct 2016

Christopher Avery, Founder-Director (2002-2013), Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; former Legal Adviser & Deputy Head of Research, Amnesty International, International Secretariat

Rejoinder to BP

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...[The] response by BP...seems to be trying to avoid taking responsibility for its Political Action Committee (PAC) funding far-right-wing candidates (including climate-change-deniers) in the U.S. who have a record of undermining fundamental human rights.  

BP’s PAC is managed by BP and is part of BP. The BP PAC board (composed of BP senior managers in the U.S.) decides which candidates are supported by the PAC — that board decided, for example, to fund the campaigns of Senator James Inhofe who said that only God can change the climate, and Congressman Mike Coffman who voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (which made it easier for women to enforce their right to equal pay for equal work), voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which provides health care for many low-income people, supported bans on same-sex marriage until they were overturned by the Supreme Court [and questioned whether President Obama was an American]...

PAC funds go out only to those candidates chosen by the BP PAC board.  Concerns have been raised about companies in the U.S. pressuring or trying to induce employees to donate to the company PAC. A 2015 Reuters analysis...states: “...[Some] companies are attaching perks to the giving. BP, for example, says employees who donate at least 2.5 percent of their salary to the company PAC get choice parking spots in the company lot.” In reference to corporate PACs generally, Reuters reported: “Some employees allege they have suffered retribution as a result of not supporting a CEO's politics…"

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