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A Serious Setback for Cleaning Up Big Oil

Why the U.S. Needs EITI

Dormant oil drilling rigs, stacked in Dickinson, North Dakota, January 21, 2016. Andrew Cullen / Reuters

In September 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global effort to clean up the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The goal was to bring transparency and accountability to industries in which mismanagement and corruption too often undermine development, increase poverty, and fuel conflict. Until the U.S. announcement, only developing countries (and Norway) had actually adopted the EITI transparency standard, even though it had been launched by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and was largely financed and overseen by developed countries. Global transparency advocates hailed the United States for taking the lead. And soon after, other developed countries, such as Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the United Kingdom joined the United States in announcing their implementation of EITI. In doing so, they made a clear statement: it was important for all countries to participate in the

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