'US Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) expressed their strong support for Iraq’s commitment to make its oil and gas industry more transparent following Iraq’s Jan. 11 announcement that it plans to become an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative candidate country.
EITI is an international coalition of governments, companies, and others that promotes good governance through publication of oil, gas, and mining revenues, the two Senate Foreign Relations Committee members noted on Jan. 12.
“Corruption remains a significant problem in Iraq,” said Lugar, the committee’s ranking minority member. “As oil and gas is the single largest source of revenue [there], it is important that the revenue generated benefit the people of Iraq and not just a handful of businessmen and officials. By committing to implement EITI, Iraq is creating a foundation for good governance in a sector critical to Iraq’s future stability.”
Cardin said, “This is a significant step toward a greater future for Iraq.” The senator also has promoted EITI as chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, more commonly known as the US-Helsinki Commission.'