On the same day the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson as Donald Trump’s secretary of state, the House voted to kill a transparency rule for oil companies that Tillerson once lobbied against while CEO of Exxon Mobil. So all in all, a good day for America’s largest oil and gas firm. Using the little-known Congressional Review Act, the House GOP voted on Wednesday to kill an Obama-era regulation that would require publicly traded oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose any payments that they made to foreign governments, including taxes and royalties.
The rule itself dates back to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — when senators from both parties included a provision requiring greater disclosure from mining and drilling companies working abroad. The hope was to cut down on corruption in resource-rich developing countries by increasing transparency. At the time, as Michael Grunwald reports for Politico, Tillerson was Exxon Mobil’s CEO and flew to Washington, DC, to lobby against this provision, arguing that the rule would put his company at a competitive disadvantage and make it harder to do business in places like Russia.