'What Are Exxon and Chevron So Desperate to Hide?”: Trump Ditches Oil Anti-Corruption Effort

The Trump administration signed another love note to extractive industries on Thursday when it announced it was withdrawing the U.S. from a global program aimed at increasing transparency and accountability for oil, gas, and mineral companies and their payments to governments.

“This is a disappointing, backwards step,” said Fredrik Reinfeldt, chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

A diverse group of voices reacted by saying the administration’s stated basis for backing out of the effort is false.

Reuters explains that the

As such, said Chase Huntley, senior energy and climate director at The Wilderness Society, the back-out “is further evidence of the administration’s flabbergasting disregard for the public’s right to know how their energy assets are being managed.”

The State Department webpage on the EITI, still available as of this writing, touts the effort, stating the “U.S. Government has been a strong supporter of EITI since its founding in 2003, recognizing that transparency is a critical component of sound governance in countries’ extractive sectors.” It adds: “In September 2011 the United States’ announcement that it would implement the EITI domestically underscored the United States’ view that this initiative benefits countries in all regions and all levels of development.”

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The move to back out of the program, as Bloomberg notes,