U.S. EITI Moves Forward with Advisory Committee

Issue: EITI
Country: United States
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The U.S. government today reached a milestone on its way to implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), announcing the membership of the U.S. EITI advisory committee.

The committee will oversee domestic implementation of EITI, which requires companies to publish their payments to governments for access to oil, natural gas and minerals, and governments to publish what they receive. President Obama in 2011 committed the United States to participate in EITI, under the leadership of the Secretary of the Interior.

“EITI offers a chance for expert organizations and American communities to demand access to better information on the sale of oil, gas and minerals from U.S. public lands,” said Rebecca Morse, Revenue Watch advocacy officer. “Increased oversight of these valuable resources can help ensure they deliver the benefits they should.”

Made up of representations from each of three sectors critical to the ‘multi-stakeholder’ dialogue that is the cornerstone of EITI—government, industry and civil society—the advisory committee will establish the scope and focus of U.S. EITI as it develops.

Michael L. Ross, a member of RWI’s advisory board and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of eight civil society representatives appointed to the committee. Morse will serve on the advisory committee as an alternate member.

U.S. EITI will create new reporting standards for companies operating domestically, complementing disclosure rules adopted this year under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank act requiring greater transparency from oil, gas and mining companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

“Our goal is for EITI to finish the work Dodd-Frank started, to require a high level of disclosure from all energy and mining companies doing business with the U.S. government,” Morse said. “As domestic energy production accelerates and the international community looks to U.S. leadership on transparency, the stakes are just too high to accept less from this process.”

A report released this month from the U.S. Government Accountability Office highlighted a number of shortcomings in the management of oil, gas and mineral assets located on 700 million acres of federal lands and 1.8 billion acres below offshore waters.

The work of the U.S. EITI advisory committee will begin in earnest early next year. The full membership of the committee is available here: http://www.doi.gov/eiti/upload/members.pdf

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