President Biden: Stop oil companies from bankrolling the Myanmar military

U.S. President Joe Biden

Urge President Biden to stop oil companies from bankrolling the Myanmar military

As Myanmar’s generals look for revenues to fund their new military junta, there’s one source of money they can count on: natural gas projects backed by foreign investors including France’s Total and Chevron of the US, South Korea’s Posco and Malaysia’s Petronas.

Myanmar earns close to US$1 billion a year from natural gas sales. Much of this money flows through Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a state-owned enterprise with deep links to the military’s business empire. Alarmingly, the recent military coup places MOGE and the rest of the government under direct military control.

Chevron is the largest U.S. corporate investor in Burma (Myanmar). In partnership with Total of France, PTT of Thailand, and the Burmese government-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Chevron owns the Yadana gas field and pipeline. Yadana is one of the military’s largest sources of revenue, bankrolling up to 70 percent of its operations in years past.

Moreover, Chevron has long used its powerful and sophisticated lobbying machine to block US sanctions on the Myanmar military. Chevron’s lobbying is a significant assist to Myanmar’s military, which has little to no presence of its own in Washington.

On April 27th, 2021, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, led by Jeff Merkley (D, Oregon) and Marco Rubio (R, Florida) called on the Biden Administration to stop money from flowing from American businesses to the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

It is long past time for President Biden to impose sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) as part of stopping oil and gas companies - such as Chevron, Total, Petronas, and Posco - from continuing to bankroll the Burmese military.

Sign our petition urging President Biden to take action to end the flow of money from foreign corporations to Myanmar's military.

For more information:

Khin Ohmar of Progressive Voice moves a shareholder resolution at Chevron's annual shareholder meeting, 26 May 2021

"Justice For Myanmar responds to suspension of Yadana pipeline dividends," Justice For Myanmar, 27 May 2021

"Chevron Lobbies to Head Off New Sanctions on Myanmar," New York Times, 22 April 2021

"Rubio Joins Merkley, Colleagues in Urging Biden Administration Impose New Sanctions on Myanmar’s Military Regime," 27 April 2021

"Open letter: Chevron's business operations in Myanmar," 23 March 2021

"How Oil and Gas Majors Bankroll the Myanmar Military Regime," Justice For Myanmar, 8 February 2021

"Total Impact: The Human Rights, Environmental, and Financial Impacts of Total and Chevron’s Yadana Gas Project in Military Ruled Burma (Myanmar)," EarthRights International, September 2009

To: U.S. President Joe Biden
From: Alyson Chadwick

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military seized power in a coup d'etat, imprisoning civilian leaders as well as pro-democracy and human rights advocates.

In response to this coup, young people in Myanmar have taken to the streets in a new #CivilDisobedienceMovement (CDM) demanding an end to military rule. They are calling on the international community to impose tough and targeted sanctions, including stopping oil and gas companies from bankrolling the military through their partnerships with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

The military is now brutally cracking down, imprisoning, injuring, and killing thousands of peaceful pro-democracy protesters. The United States has already imposed sanctions on top military leaders and some military-owned companies. But it is vital that the United States honor CDM's call for tougher targeted sanctions that stop the flow of money from foreign corporations to the Myanmar military.

It is long past time for the United States to impose sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)​ as part of stopping oil and gas companies - such as Chevron, Total, Petronas, and Posco - from continuing to bankroll the Burmese military.

Please take all appropriate actions to end the flow of money from foreign corporations to Myanmar's military.