Bono had some serious gripes with the oil and gas industry at a panel during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday. The U2 frontman and cofounder of the ONE Campaign criticized a lawsuit filed against the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require oil companies to disclose how much they pay for foreign oil leases.
He spoke during a panel moderated by former President Bill Clinton about both government and corporate transparency and the effect they can have on poverty and health. The SEC disclosure rule was thrown out by a federal judge in July, who said the data would undercut global competition.
"As we know corruption is killing more kids than TB, AIDS, and malaria put together," he said. "There is a vaccine ... and it’s called transparency."
The singer did praise both Exxon and Chevron and their support of malaria and AIDS prevention, but said it was overtly hypocritical to offer aid with one hand and seek to undermine anti-corruption legislation with the other.
"I’m no cranky anti-corporate critic here,” Bono said. “I implore the people in this room, from Exxon, from Chevron ... You can’t have it both ways. You can’t give alms to the poor on one level and have your hands on their throats on another."