The USA is the world’s top producer of natural gas and the third largest producer of oil. According to oil lobbyists, the total value of the oil and gas industry to the US economy is close to 8% of GDP. Other natural resources include coal, copper, lead, zinc, gold and iron. As well as being resource-rich itself, the US is a major player in the global extractive market. The US stock exchange alone represents almost half of the global value of companies. 8 out of 10 of the largest mining companies and 29 of the 32 largest internationally active oil companies are listed in the US.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, RWI
The USA coalition was launched in 2004. Due to the USA’s importance in the global extractive market, many of the coalition’s efforts have been focussed on advocating for changes to stock exchange rules. These efforts culminated in the passage of the Cardin-Lugar provision in the Dodd-Frank Act of July 2010, which obliges all US listed companies to publish what they pay in the countries in which they operate.
Advocacy efforts have also focussed on EITI. PWYP USA has strongly pushed for the US government to join EITI, as well as over the years encouraging it to enhance its role as supporter. As a resource-rich country the US would strongly benefit from joining EITI and the adhesion of another G20 country would enhance the initiative’s credibility and global character.
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On 8 February 2013 Norwegian company Statoil publicly disassociated itself from the lawsuit API is waging against transparency law Dodd-Frank 1504. Oxfam America reacted with this press release.
On 22 March 2013 PWYP USA applauded the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its vigorous legal defense of a landmark transparency law (Dodd-Frank 1504) under attack by the oil industry. You can find out more in PWYP US’ press release.
On 16 May 2012 Oxfam America filed a lawsuit against the Securities Exchange Commission for their delay in the publication of the rules governing Dodd-Frank 1504. The SEC has been in violation of the law for more than a year now, with the statutory deadline for the publication of the rules lapsing in April 2011. Oxfam America wrote to the SEC a month ago, warning them that unless the rules were published within a delay of 30 days, the NGO would find itself obliged to sue
On 8 March 2012 Oxfam America handed in a petition to the API, signed by almost 24 000 people, calling for the oil industry to end their fight against the transparency laws passed in June 2010. For more on this hand-in, and indeed on PWYP US’ recent activities as a whole, read Oxfam America’s blog: Oil Transparency Now!.
On 15 February 2012 House lawmakers and Bill Gates each sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission calling for the agency to finalize a key rule and raising the stakes in the fight over extractive issuer disclosure under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Monkeys in a barrel – activists demonstrate outside Chevron tower in Housron
On 15 February 2012, Oxfam America activists gathered again to stage an event – this time outside the Chevron tower in Houston. Dressed up as the ‘see no evil, do no evil’ monkeys – also bearing the company logos of Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil – the three ‘monkeys in a barrel’ were there to remind that “Transparency is Not Monkey Business”! You can see more photos here.
Love is in the air? Activists demonstrate outside SEC
On 10 February 2012 Oxfam America activists staged an event in Washington DC. Three activists, dressed in rather debonair pyjamas, clutching roses and champagne flutes, posed in a bed outside the building wearing logos to represent ExxonMobil, Chevron and the SEC. You can find out moreand see some photos.
US joins EITI
On 20 September 2011 President Obama announced at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York that the United States would join EITI. Find out more