For too long, powerful oil companies have secured record profits where they operate, while local and indigenous communities reap few benefits.
Last year, people scored a victory when Congress passed transparency legislation forcing oil companies to report their payouts to foreign governments. Soon, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will issue regulations to implement the law – but right now, big oil companies and the American Petroleum Institute are fighting to weaken it.
This means that local communities might continue to lose, as many of their governments receive payments from oil companies that operate in their backyards.
We can’t let this happen. Tell American Petroleum Institute (API) President Jack Gerard, the mouthpiece for companies like Chevron and BP, that he can’t get away with it. With a big enough public outcry, we’ll make these companies realize we won’t stand for their underhanded tactics.
API's current suggestions to the SEC such as providing exemptions for companies or keeping company reporting to the SEC away from the public go against the intent and letter of the law. Project-level reporting as the law requires is important to let communities know how much their government is receiving for oil and minerals extracted from their lands.
Rather than fighting implementation, I urge API to actively support this law. Many oil companies are already disclosing payment information and are not suffering from competitive effects.
If API and the oil company members are proud of the tax contributions they make in the U.S. and around the world, they should let the world know about them.
Please support the full implementation of this provision.