The United States will soon apply to become an Extractive Industries Transparency

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9 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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1


Implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in the United States


Mia Steinle, Project On Government Oversight

msteinle@pogo.org


The United States
will soon apply

to become an Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative (EITI) country.

EITI is a global standard that aims to increase transparency of
government revenue
s

from
energy and
natural
resources, including the oil, gas, and mining
industries
. EITI requires
governments and companies to disclose payment information

to an
independent

third party
, who
reconcile
s the data and mak
e
s it

publicly available.
Since February,
a multi
-
stakeholder group

comprised of
r
epresentatives from
U.S.
government, industry, and
civil society ha
s

met regularly

in order

to
determine the scope of the country’s
implementation

and to prepare its application to the global EITI board.

While the group faces ongoing
challenges, it has successfully established an ambitious scope that goes
beyond global EITI
requirements.


Background


The U.S. Interior Department

oversees
most of
the nation’s mineral resources, which
accounted for nearly $12 billion in government revenue in 2012. The
Office of Natural
Resources Revenue
is responsible for
collect
ing

royalties, rents, bonuses, and other payments
, as
well as publishing this data online.
Before making payment data available to the public, the
2


agency aggregates the

information by year and by commodity

that is, individual lease or
company
revenu
e data

is not available to the public.
1

The Project On Government (POGO) has a proud history of promoting government
accountability in
natural resource management
. Founded in 1981, POGO is a nonpartisan
independent watchdog that champions good government r
eforms.

While
the U.S. has long
enjoyed a relative amount of
government
transparency, the U.S. extractive industries have

been
rocked by maj
or scandals in the last decade, and POGO has been at the forefront of reporting
these issues and promoting open
government initiatives to prevent future abuses.

In 2008, a government

inspector general report revealed the
Interior D
epartment’s
“culture of ethical failure,” which included allegations that government employees accepted gifts
from oil and gas companies,

used drugs at industry functions, and had sexual relations with
industry representatives.
2

Two years later, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and
caught fire

in the Gulf of Mexico
, killing 11 workers and causing the largest offshore oil leak in
U.S. history
,
3

an incident which

“shed light on weaknesses in the federal offshore energy
regulatory system,”
according to the Interior Department
.
4



Following these scandals,
the Interior Department
dissolved

its
conflicted extractive
industry oversigh
t
agency, and split its powers among

three new

agencies: one each to oversee
resource management, safety and environmental protection, and revenue collection.

The Office
of Natural Resources
Revenue fulfills the last objective.





1

“Statistical Information,” Office of Natural Resources Revenue,
http://statistics.onrr.gov/

2

Charlie Savage, “Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department,”
New York Times,
September 10, 2008,

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/washington/11royalty.html

3

Jonathan L. Ramseur and Curry L. Hagerty, “Deepwater Hor
izon Oil Spill: Recent Activities and Ongoing
Developments,” Congressional Research Service, January 31, 2013, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42942.pdf

4

“Interior Department Completes Reorganization of the Former MMS,” U.S. Department of the Interior, September
30, 2011,
http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Interior
-
Department
-
Completes
-
Reorganization
-
of
-
the
-
Former
-
MMS.cfm

3


U.S. EITI Progress



This summer, the multi
-
stakeholder group made several major decisions about the scope
of U.S. EITI implementation.
As the
table

below shows, revenues from oil, gas, coal, and non
-
fuel minerals will be reported and reconciled under global EITI standards.

Th
e multi
-
stakeholder
group is also proposing two additional levels of reporting, which are not required by EITI: the
Interior Department has agreed to unilaterally disclose all data it collects on the commodities in
the chart; and the EITI report will inclu
de publically sourced narratives about these
commodities

that is, information from
other
public domains, such as state websites.


Table: U.S. EITI Scoping Decisions

Commodity/Industry

Reconciliation*

Unilateral
Disclosure

Publically
Sourced
Narrative

Exclude
From 1st
Report


Leasable Minerals

(such as oil, gas, coal)

x

x

x





Non
-
Fuel Minerals

(such as gold, uranium, sand
)


x

x

x





Renewable Energy

(geothermal, solar, wind)



x

x




Hydropower








x


Timber








x

Fisheries








x

Grazing







x


*

Parent companies that pay annual revenues to the Interior Department of at least $50 million meet the
reconciliation threshold for the first report. The multi
-
stakeholder group is proposing to decrease the
reconciliation threshold to $20 million for the second report.



The multi
-
stakeholder group will consider hydropower, timber, and fisheries for
inclusion in
the second report.

4


While the global EITI standards require that countries reconcile subnational
revenues, the
United States’ system of federalism presents a unique challenge

to compliance
. Under the U.S.
cons
titution, the federal government cannot compel states to enforce federal statutes. As such,
the Interior Department cannot force states to parti
cipate in EITI, which means that only
revenues from federal lands are guaranteed to be disclosed.

The multi
-
stakeholder group plans to
reach out to states to ask for their participation, as no laws prohibit voluntary state involvement
in EITI.


Similarly,
EITI participation will be voluntary among the
nation’s
566 federally
recognized tribes. While the Interior Department collects and disperses mineral revenues on
be
half of tribes, the tribes are
sovereign nations that retain powers of self
-
government.

As s
uch,
the Interior Department has conducted EITI outreach to the tribes,
5

which the multi
-
stakeholder
group intends to be ongoing
, as the group asks for their voluntary participation
.


Next Steps


In addition to its continuing outreach to tribal and state
governments, one of the multi
-
stakeholder group’s greatest challenges is finding and incorporating the voices of the other
communities who are affected by the extractive industries.

In particular, the civil society
sector

whose members representative labor

unions, academia, investors, tribes, and various
non
-
profits

is tasked with ensuring that U.S. EITI reflects the needs of as many Americans as
possible. As such, the multi
-
stakeholder group will gather public comments this autumn. It
plans
to submit its
c
andidacy
application to the global EITI board by the end of 2013.






5

“Tribal Outreach Presentation
and Discussion,” U.S. Department of the Interior, July 23, 2013,
http://www.doi.gov/eiti/FACA/upload/USEITI_Tribal
-
Outreach
-
Presentation_07222013.pdf