Investors Press Oil and Gas Companies to Reduce and Report Risks from Hydraulic Fracturing Operations
Shareholder Resolutions Call for Quantifiable Progress on Environmental Risks, Fugitive Methane Emissions and Other Community Impacts
Citing concerns over water management, chemical disclosure, and greenhouse gas emissions, investors call upon oil and gas
companies to disclose information about how they are managing the risks
associated with “fracking”.
Citing concerns over water
management, toxic chemical disclosure, greenhouse gas emissions and other
community impacts, investors have called upon 9 leading oil and gas
companies to disclose critical information about the ways they are managing
and measuring the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,”
operations and shale gas transmission.
Shareholders have filed resolutions with Cabot Oil and
Gas, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, EOG Resources, ONEOK, Pioneer Natural Resources,
Spectra Energy, Range Resources and Ultra Petroleum challenging these
companies to quantifiably measure and reduce environmental and societal impacts
“Now is the time for companies to measure up –
literally,” stated Leslie Samuelrich, Senior Vice President Green Century
Capital Management, which filed with EOG Resources and Ultra Petroleum and
coordinates a shareholder campaign on fracking with The Investor
Environmental Health Network (IEHN). “Transparency is the first step, but
oil and gas companies must now implement quantifiable plans to reduce the
impact of their operations on the environment.”
“Oil and gas firms face clear environmental and
business risks, and general assurances of safety and anecdotes about
site-specific actions are not sufficient for investors,” said Richard Liroff,
Executive Director of IEHN.
“Shareholders want to know how companies are
systematically tackling environmental risk and community impact concerns and
the measurable results of these efforts.”
The majority of the resolutions filed focus on
quantitative risk reporting, urging companies to issue reports including
specific data such as the number or percentage of “green completions” and
other low-cost emission reduction measures; quantifying the sources and
amount of water used for shale energy operations by region; systems to track
and manage naturally occurring radioactive materials; the extent to which
closed-loop systems for management of drilling residuals are used; and the
numbers of community complaints or grievances and portion open or closed.
In addition, resolutions were filed with Range
Resources and natural gas infrastructure and transmission firms ONEOK and
Spectra Energy designed to limit fugitive methane emissions, a potent
greenhouse gas, through a program of measurement, mitigation, and
Methane is the primary component of natural gas and – without
strong regulations - is released as a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing and
across the value chain during production, processing, transmission, storage,
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates
that methane has 72 times the climate change impact of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
“Given the high short-term climate impact of methane
emissions, it is now an open question whether natural gas can serve as a
bridge fuel to a more sustainable energy future,” said Natasha Lamb, Vice
President Shareholder Advocacy & Corporate Engagement at Trillium Asset
Management, which filed the methane resolutions.
“Companies can and should
reduce their emissions using new technologies with positive return on investment.”
“The oil and gas industry must account for its impact
on natural resources, the climate and communities,” said Mindy Lubber,
director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) and president of
Ceres, which helps coordinate the filings.
“The environmental risks of fracking have bottom-line impacts, and investors are right to be demanding
better performance from oil and gas firms.”
Shareholder proposals on fracking have been filed by
the following investors and investor advisors: As You Sow, Calvert
Investments, Green Century Capital Management, New York City Office of the
Comptroller, New York State Common Retirement Fund (sponsor of the Cabot Oil
& Gas resolution, which has been withdrawn in response to corporate
disclosure commitments), The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia,
Trillium Asset Management and numerous co-filers.
These resolutions are part of a broader investor
initiative challenging companies to address climate and sustainability
risks. Thus far in the 2013 proxy season, investors working with Ceres have
resolutions with 73 companies.
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership.
Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public
interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable
business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.
also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of
institutional investors with collective assets totalling more than $11
trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and www.incr.com.
Green Century Capital Management is an investment
advisory firm focused on environmentally responsible investing.
a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations in 1991,
Green Century's mission is to provide people who are concerned about global
warming and the planet to encourage environmentally responsible corporate behavior.
Green Century believes that shareholder advocacy is a critical
component of responsible investing and actively advocates for greater
corporate environmental accountability. Visit
Green Century or www.greencentury.com.
The Investor Environmental Health Network is a
collaborative partnership of investment managers, advised by nongovernmental
organizations, concerned about the financial and public health risks
associated with corporate toxic chemicals policies.
IEHN, through dialogue
and shareholder resolutions, encourages companies to adopt policies to
continually and systematically reduce and eliminate the toxic chemicals in
their products and activities. Visit
Investor Environment Health Network or iehn.org.