The Myanmar military’s coup and brutal crackdown on dissent have left it with few allies in the West. But a sophisticated corporate lobbying operat
The Myanmar military’s coup and brutal crackdown on dissent have left it with few allies in the West. But a sophisticated corporate lobbying operation in Washington is trying to persuade the Biden administration not to impose broad sanctions against a state-owned oil and gas company helping to finance the junta.
Chevron, the second-largest oil and gas producer in the United States, has sent lobbyists — including some former federal officials, one of whom appears to have left the State Department just last month — to the State Department, other agencies and congressional offices, according to four people familiar with the lobbying.
The company says sanctions could endanger the long-term viability of a big Myanmar gas field in which it is a partner, worsen a humanitarian crisis for people who rely on the operation for power, and expose employees to criminal charges.
Chevron has a longstanding relationship with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, or MOGE, which is closely connected to the military generals who seized power from elected leaders on Feb. 1. Since then, the military has killed an estimated 740 citizens of Myanmar and detained thousands more.
Democrats, diplomats and human rights activists are pressing the Biden administration to impose sanctions on MOGE, which a United Nations human rights investigator told Congress last month “is now effectively controlled by a murderous criminal enterprise.”