Engaging with governments

Report Jan. 5, 2021

In this article

Engaging with governments

Transparency in payments to governments 


ExxonMobil recognizes 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.
Image The United Nations headquarters in New York, New York.
The United Nations headquarters in New York, New York.

ExxonMobil is an original 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, which enables EITI to reconcile any differences between the totals and publish validated total government revenues.

We actively participate at the EITI secretariat and country levels. Every year, an ExxonMobil representative serves on the EITI board as either a primary or alternate member. We work with several governments that are EITI members, as well as others considering membership.  

Policy engagement 

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

We engaged on several issues in 2019 to support responsible economic, energy and environmental policies around the world, including: 

  • Free-market policies: A level playing field within our energy markets is vital if consumers and families are to continue to have access to affordable, reliable, and safe energy for homes and businesses. Preferential treatment for certain energy sources undermines the market and raises costs for consumers, families and businesses. 
  • Energy infrastructure: In the United States alone, private investments in oil and natural 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. These infrastructure projects create jobs and deliver energy to market, safely and efficiently.
  • Regulatory reform: We support efforts to enhance transparency in our regulatory process, minimizing cost and maximizing efficiency. 
  • Trade: ExxonMobil relies on free and fair trade agreements and policies, including for example strong investment protection provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). Providing a level playing field to import and export goods and services ultimately gives consumers greater choice.
  • Climate: ExxonMobil believes sound policy address the dual challenge of reducing the risks of climate change at the lowest societal cost, while balancing increased demand for affordable energy and the need to address poverty, education, health and energy security. We work to encourage collaboration across governments, private companies, consumers and other stakeholders to create meaningful solutions to address climate change. For example, we engaged with the EU Commission, both directly and through trade associations, on the development and adoption of the EU methane strategy.  
Image ExxonMobil engages with U.S. lawmakers to support responsibleeconomic, energy and environmental policies.
ExxonMobil engages with U.S. lawmakers to support responsible economic, energy and environmental policies.

U.S. lobbying expenses

In 2019, ExxonMobil’s U.S. federal lobbying expenses totaled $9.75 million, as publicly reported in our filings under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Further information on the federal issues ExxonMobil lobbied in the United States in 2019 is available at exxonmobil.com. We also recently disclosed on our website a list of trade associations to which we paid $100,000 or more and for which a portion of our payment was reported to be used for lobbying.

Political contributions 


The board of directors has authorized ExxonMobil to make political contributions 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 contributions from the company-sponsored Political Action Committee. Internal audits of the corporation’s public and government affairs activities routinely verify contribution amounts.

Eligible employees and shareholders 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.

2019 performance and initiatives

In 2019, we contributed more than $253,000 to state candidates and caucuses in eight U.S. states. During 2019, ExxonMobil’s PAC disbursed more than $719,000* to federal and state candidates and committees. Corporate political contributions are subject to an internal review process that requires approval from the chairman or the vice president of our Washington D.C. office. 

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

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