The Republican-dominated House of Representatives yesterday moved to repeal a rule that requires oil companies to report on their payments to foreign governments, including taxes and royalties from their activities in these countries.
The rule, part of the Dodd-Frank Act, was devised and approved two years after the 2008 crisis, aiming to make public energy companies more transparent and limit the potential for bribes abroad. The energy companies themselves, however, protested that the rule puts them at a disadvantage to foreign competitors that are not bound by it.
On the other hand, backers of the rule note that the main competitors of Exxon and Chevron are based in Europe, and as such, are subject to EU regulations to the same effect. Shell, BP, Total, and the rest of them all report their tax and royalty payments to foreign governments on an annual basis.