Engaging with governments

Report Dec. 20, 2019

In this article

Engaging with governments

Transparency in payments to governments 


We recognize the importance of disclosing relevant payments to governments to reduce corruption, improve government accountability and promote greater economic stability worldwide. We consider the most successful transparency initiatives are those that: 

  • Apply to all foreign, domestic and state-owned companies;
  • Protect proprietary information to promote commercial competitiveness; 
  • Comply with international trade conventions and treaties; and 
  • Do not violate host government laws or contractual obligations. 
The United Nations headquarters in New York, New York.

ExxonMobil is a founding member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global organization that promotes the accountable management of oil, natural gas and mineral resources. Companies and governments participating in EITI report payments and revenues, enabling EITI to reconcile any differences between the totals and publish validated total government revenues.

2018 performance and initiatives

ExxonMobil actively participates at both the EITI secretariat and country levels. Every year, an ExxonMobil representative serves on the EITI board as either a primary or an alternate member. We work with several governments that are EITI members, as well as others considering membership. Currently, 52 countries are compliant members or have been accepted as candidates to begin reporting under the EITI standard.

Policy engagement 

ExxonMobil believes sound public policy should include input from a variety of stakeholders. Public policy decisions made at all levels of government can have significant effects on our current and future operations. ExxonMobil exercises its right to support policies that promote stable investment for long-term business viability. 

ExxonMobil engaged on several issues in 2018 to support responsible economic, energy and environmental policies in the United States, including:

  • Energy infrastructure: With the right regulatory policies in place, private investments in oil and gas infrastructure could exceed $1.3 trillion by 2035, adding 1 million U.S. jobs and increasing gross domestic product by almost $2 trillion, according to a study conducted by global consulting firm, IFC, commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.
  • Free-market policies: ExxonMobil is committed to ensuring a level playing field in energy markets and protecting consumer access to affordable, reliable and safe energy for homes and businesses. Policies that alter markets in ways that favor some fuel sources over others could impact free-market competition and negatively affect consumers. 
  • Regulatory reform: ExxonMobil supports legislation that enhances transparency, accountability and objectivity of regulatory processes to improve public safety and minimize economic cost.
  • Trade: As a global company, ExxonMobil relies on free and fair trade agreements and policies, which include strong protections such as Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions. We support policies that maintain freedom to import and export goods and services, which also provide consumers with more choices.

U.S. lobbying expenses

In 2018, ExxonMobil’s U.S. federal lobbying expenses totaled $11.2 million, as publicly reported in our filings under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. 

Further information on federal issues ExxonMobil lobbied in the United States in 2018 is available on the political contributions and lobbying page of our website.

Political contributions 


The board of directors has authorized ExxonMobil to contribute to candidate committees and other political organizations as permitted by applicable laws in the United States and Canada. The board annually reviews ExxonMobil’s political contributions, as well as the contributions from the company-sponsored political action committee (PAC). Internal audits of the corporation’s public and government affairs activities routinely verify the corporate contributions process and contribution amounts. 

Eligible employees and retirees may participate in the U.S. political process by contributing to a voluntary, company-sponsored, federal PAC. ExxonMobil reports PAC contributions to the U.S. Federal Election Commission every month.

2018 performance and initiatives

In 2018, we contributed more than $273,000 to state candidates and caucuses in eight U.S. states. During 2018, ExxonMobil’s PAC disbursed nearly $920,000* to federal and state candidates. Corporate political contributions are subject to an internal review process that requires approval from the chairman. Learn more about political contributions and lobbying.

*Totals may not reflect some candidates’ failure to deposit, or returned contributions not yet posted.

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