US “to let oil and gas companies bribe foreign officials”




Last week, civil society organizations expressed their concern about “US Congress Voting to Kill Anti-Corruption Safeguard” (FACT Coalition). As FACT describes, “in one of the first votes of the new Congress, lawmakers utilized a controversial procedure and voted to kill a landmark anti-corruption measure”, posing “grave threat to U.S. national security” according to Global Witness.

In a very interesting editorial, the New York Times echoes the worries of civil society, stating how “Republicans in Congress seem strangely eager to let coal companies pollute streams without telling the public, to let oil and gas companies more easily bribe foreign officials”. “The antibribery rule, the journal explains, was called for in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in June. By requiring companies in extraction industries like oil and gas to disclose payments to foreign governments, it aimed to combat corruption. The American oil industry has said such disclosure would put it at a competitive disadvantage. That’s ridiculous. Many other countries have similar rules”. And The New York Times concludes ”Mr. Trump won the presidency, in part, by promising to hold powerful interests accountable for practices that harm the public. But nullifying final rules — which went through a long, public process on the way to being issued — elevates corporate interests above all others”.

Read the full editorial here.

Image ©Carlos Yudica/Shutterstock (Courtesy FACT Coalition)

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