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Chevron votes down transparency proposals

SEVERAL measures aimed at increasing Chevron’s transparency when operating in developing nations were defeated in a vote by shareholders at the firm’s annual meeting late last week.

Proposals to disclose payments made to host governments and to establish a human rights committee, initiated by Oxfam and five other Chevron shareholders, received the support of only 7 percent of total shareholders, according to a Chevron statement announcing the results of the meeting late Wednesday.

Chevron officials declined comment over whether it had made payments to secure rights to Cambodia’s offshore oil and gas Block A, citing “contractual arrangements” and “commercially confidential information” when contacted earlier this month. Company officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Cambodians for Resource Revenue Transparency chairman Mam Sambath said increased transparency would ease tensions between extractive industry firms and local communities.

“Secrecy encourages conflict,” he said in statement issued by Oxfam release. “We don’t want this to happen because we want Chevron to stay.”

The organisation noted it could re-file the motion for discussion at next year’s annual meeting, and continued to call on Chevron and its shareholders “to support disclosure of all payments to host governments”.

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