Publish What You Pay urges oil, gas & mining firms to support US law on disclosure of payments to govts. - statements of support by 12 firms

Transparency laws are key - credit: Publish What You PayBusiness & Human Rights Resource Centre has invited 30 companies to respond to an open letter by Publish What You Pay coalitions and several of their member NGOs.  The letter urges the 30 companies to issue statements in support of disclosure by oil, gas and mining companies of their payments to governments, and of US law and regulations mandating these disclosures.  This comes in response to action by the US Congress to undo regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act requiring transparency of these payments.  The open letter to these companies states, "Country- and project-level reporting of extractive industry payments is essential for citizens in resource-rich countries to hold their governments accountable for how they use the massive revenues they receive for their finite natural resources from companies. Oil, gas and mining companies need payment disclosure to maintain their social license to operate.  Without payment transparency, citizens cannot know how much money extractive companies pay to dictatorial and non-transparent governments such as in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Kazakhstan."

Company responses and non-responses (full responses posted below):

Statements in support

Other responses

Have not responded

Anglo American

Barrick Gold

BHP Billiton

Freeport-McMoRan

Glencore

Goldcorp

Gold Fields

Kosmos Energy

Newmont Mining

Rio Tinto

Teck Resources

Total

Vale

 

 

 

ConocoPhillips

Chevron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AngloGold Ashanti

ArcelorMittal

BP

Eni

ExxonMobil

Hess Corp.

Hudbay Minerals

IAMgold

Kinross

Marathon Oil

Noble Energy

Pemex

Petrobras

Shell

Statoil

 

Further materials and commentary about the repeal of regulations adopted to enact Dodd Frank Act section 1504 on extractive industry revenue transparency are available here and here.

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Company response
16 February 2017

Vale response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Vale

Vale fully supports initiatives to promote globally consistent transparency and best practices in the extractive sector applicable across jurisdictions in order to promote regulatory certainty and also provide comparable information to the civil society for better understanding of the mining sector. As a leading company in the mining industry and the world's largest supplier of iron ore, we believe that it is essential to demonstrate how our activities positively contribute to the countries where we operate. Vale has also publicly declared its support for the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in its Sustainability Report.

Article
10 February 2017

Leading mining firms' CEOs say US legal changes won't alter their disclosures on social impacts & governance

Author: Ed Stoddard, Reuters (UK)

Mine bosses say transparency will not be clouded by U.S. rule changes, 9 Feb. 2017

The expected demise of transparency regulations for minerals and oil companies listed in the United States will not cloud the global drive for financial clarity in extractive industries, company executives told Reuters at [the Investing in African Mining Indaba].  Efforts to shine a light on payments such companies make to foreign governments are considered key to eliminating graft, conflict and the so-called resource curse... The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has begun dismantling such transparency requirements... But companies with European Union and Canadian listings - or which work in countries that have signed up to the voluntary Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) - still have to abide by strict disclosure rules, executives say...

[The] chief executive of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM),...Tom Butler ...was critical of the Trump administration's actions, but said they would not derail the broader global push for increased transparency.  "It's disappointing because overall the global trend is in the other direction. The train has left the station," said Butler. [also includes positive statements by CEOs of Gold Fields, Vedanta Resources for maintaining disclosures and avoiding deals with "illegal miners"]

Read the full post here

Company response
9 February 2017

Chevron response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Chevron

Chevron’s long-standing commitment to promoting revenue transparency is best represented through our leadership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We support the disclosure of revenues received by governments and payments made by extractive industries to governments, as set out in the current EITI process. We have participated in EITI since its inception and work alongside NGOs, governments and other companies to implement EITI in the countries where we have operations.

Company response
9 February 2017

Gold Fields response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Gold Fields

Gold Fields is not making a formal statement on the Congressional actions regarding SEC regulations under Dodd Frank Act Section 1504. Gold Fields remains fully committed to transparent reporting and plans to provide ever greater details of our operational, financial, environmental, social and governance performance. This is not only in compliance with our commitment to the EITI principles – of which we are a member via the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – but also to give our stakeholders an accurate picture of our performance in all these areas.

[Editor's note: For an additional statement by Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland on the company's policy in the face of changes in US transparency laws, see this article.]

Company response
8 February 2017

Barrick statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Barrick Gold

Barrick appreciates the opportunity to respond to the open letter on revenue transparency from the Publish What You Pay Global Coalition. We believe that transparency— whether through disclosing payments to governments, reporting on our energy and water use, voluntarily opening ourselves to third-party scrutiny, or otherwise — is integral to being a true partner. As such, we support consistent global standards for payment transparency, including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) principles, which promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral industry resources. Barrick was the first Canadian mining company to be a signatory to the EITI, producing detailed, country-by-country reports that disclose the taxes and royalties that we pay to governments around the world. The company also reports this information in accordance with the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act, a Canadian statute that requires extractive entities in Canada to publicly disclose payments to all governments in Canada and abroad on an annual basis. In addition, we report on our programs and performance to the International Council on Mining and Metals, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and in our annual, Global Reporting Initiative-compliant Responsibility Report. We also continue to participate in a number of multi-stakeholder groups, including the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, the Business for Peace Initiative, the UN Global Compact’s Global Supply Chain Working Group, and the Human Rights & Labor Working Group.

In sum, transparency is a core value at Barrick that we strive to achieve in everything we do. For more information, please refer to the Transparency and Reporting section of our 2015 Responsibility Report, which begins on page 20.

Company response
8 February 2017

Freeport-McMoRan response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Freeport-McMoRan

Freeport-McMoRan has endorsed and committed to support the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since 2008. EITI is a global standard to promote transparent and accountable management of natural resources. The initiative is a commitment by governments to disclose revenues received, and by oil, gas and mining companies to disclose natural resource payments to governments in an annual EITI report. In implementing countries, the initiative is supported by governments, extractives companies and civil society working together in a multi-stakeholder group forum. 

The payments our company makes to host governments via taxes, royalties and other obligations are a significant contribution to national, regional and local development. We believe that increased transparency of natural resource revenues and payments promotes better governance and accountability regarding the distribution of natural resource revenues. In addition to our country-level EITI commitments, our practice is to report annual material cash payments to governments, including sub-national payments, in all countries where we conduct business.

Company response
8 February 2017

Teck Resources response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Teck Resources

Teck is committed to conducting business in an open, honest and ethical manner. We support efforts to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability, including through our participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We are committed to publicly reporting revenue generated from mineral extraction in the form of taxes, royalties and other payments. We believe the public disclosure of this information can contribute to the equitable sharing of benefits from resource development.

We voluntarily disclose payments as part of our annual sustainability reporting, including amounts paid to governments in the countries where we operate. As a Canadian-listed company we will also publicly disclose payments in accordance with the requirements of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA). 

Article
8 February 2017

USA: Congress repeals law on disclosure of payments to govts. by oil & gas companies

Author: Lisa Lambert & Timothy Gardner, Reuters

"U.S. Republicans ax disclosure, emissions rules on energy", 5 Feb 2017

U.S. Republicans on Friday repealed a securities disclosure rule aimed at curbing corruption at energy and mining companies and voted to ax emissions limits on drilling operations, part of a push to remove Obama-era regulations on extractive industries...After a number of legal battles, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2016 completed the regulation, which supporters said could help expose questionable financial ties U.S. companies may have with foreign governments.Senate Democrats raised concerns that Exxon's chief executive during those legal fights was Rex Tillerson, who was recently confirmed as U.S. secretary of state and has worked extensively in Russia...Exxon and other major energy corporations fought for years to block the rule, required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law...The change could give American companies an edge over Canadian and European companies that face some of the toughest transparency rules in the world...

Read the full post here

Company response
7 February 2017

Total response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Total

Total believes equivalency recognition should help global transparency initiatives evolve toward a common standard, thereby improving the quality and comparability of information. It encourages foreign jurisdictions that have not yet adopted resource extraction payment disclosure laws to provide a level of disclosure that is consistent with U.S. and EU rules. Therefore, Total considers it important that the SEC substantially adopt its currently proposed rules in final form and, quickly thereafter, unilaterally make a determination of the equivalency of EU rules as transposed by the Member States of the European Union into their national laws.

Read the full post here

Company response
6 February 2017

Goldcorp response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Goldcorp

...'Goldcorp is committed to conducting our business operating responsibly at all times, which means respecting the safety and health of our employees, protecting the environment, respecting the human rights of our employees and the residents of the communities in which we operate, and contributing to the sustainable development of those communities.

Goldcorp actively support the objectives of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the World Gold Council (WGC), among other initiatives that support transparency in payments to government. Through the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), Goldcorp also participates with the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) Working Group to ensure greater transparency in the extractive industries in Canada and overseas.

Goldcorp will participate with industry associations such as ICMM and MAC to continue to advance industry‐wide best practices in support of revenue transparency.'...

Download the full document here