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Trump backs out of anti-corruption oil and gas programme

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

The Trump administration said yesterday that it would exit an international effort to fight corruption that targeted revenue from oil and natural gas extraction. The US will no longer participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global initiative that requires member nations to disclose their revenues from oil, gas and mining assets.

Under the agreement, the US was required to reveal all the revenue it received from oil, gas and mining companies, and required those companies to publicly disclose the payments they make to the US and other governments.

US Office of Natural Resources Revenue Director Gregory J. Gould sent a letter to the EITI's board on Thursday announcing that the US would exit the agreement “effective immediately."

“It is clear that domestic implementation of EITI does not fully account for the US legal framework," Gould wrote in his letter.

The decision may undercut the effort that aims to give citizens and watchdogs in poor but mineral-rich nations details on how much their government leaders get in taxes, royalties and lease payments. With that information, they can ensure the money is spent on roads and schools.

"The US government remains committed to fighting corruption in the extractive industries sector and the ideals of transparency enshrined in the EITI principles," Gregory Gould, the Director of the Interior Department’s natural resources revenue office, wrote in the letter.

There had been doubts about continued US participation in the EITI since earlier this year when Congress stopped the so-called resource extraction rule, which required companies such as ExxonMobil Corp. to disclose taxes and other fees paid to foreign governments, such as Russia.

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