Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Investors Press Oil and Gas Companies to Reduce and Report Risks from Fracking

Energy

Investor Environmental Health Network Ceres Green Century Funds

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Citing concerns over water management, toxic chemical disclosure, greenhouse gas emissions and other community impacts, investors have called upon nine 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 of 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 disclosure. 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 and distribution. 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 of 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 filed 85 resolutions with 73 companies.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Sign the petition today, telling President Obama to enact an immediate fracking moratorium:

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Refrigerated trucks function as temporary morgues at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on May 06, 2020 in New York City. As of July, the states where COVID-19 cases are rising are mostly in the West and South. Justin Heiman / Getty Images

The official number of people in the U.S. who have lost their lives to the new coronavirus has now passed 130,000, according to tallies from The New York Times, Reuters and Johns Hopkins University.

Read More Show Less
A man walks on pink snow at the Presena glacier near Pellizzano, Italy on July 4, 2020. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

In a troubling sign for the future of the Italian Alps, the snow and ice in a glacier is turning pink due to the growth of snow-melting algae, according to scientists studying the pink ice phenomenon, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Climate activist Greta Thunberg discusses EU plans to tackle the climate emergency with Parliament's environment committee on March 4, 2020. CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

By Abdullahi Alim

The 2008 financial crisis spurred a number of youth movements including Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring. A decade later, this anger resurfaced in a new wave of global protests, from Hong Kong to Beirut to London, only this time driven by the children of the 2008 financial crisis.

Read More Show Less
A climate activist holds a victory sign in Washington, DC. after President Obama announced that he would reject the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal on November 6, 2015. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

The Supreme Court late Monday upheld a federal judge's rejection of a crucial permit for Keystone XL and blocked the Trump administration's attempt to greenlight construction of the 1,200-mile crude oil project, the third such blow to the fossil fuel industry in a day—coming just hours after the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the court-ordered shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Read More Show Less
A forest fire in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia on June 2, 2020. Yevgeny Sofroneyev / TASS via Getty Images

Once thought too frozen to burn, Siberia is now on fire and spewing carbon after enduring its warmest June ever, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
The Colima fir tree's distribution has been reduced to the area surrounding the Nevado de Colima volcano. Agustín del Castillo

By Agustín del Castillo

For 20 years, the Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) has been at the heart of many disputes to conserve the temperate forests of southern Jalisco, a state in central Mexico. Today, the future of this tree rests upon whether the area's avocado crops will advance further and whether neighboring communities will unite to protect it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Independent environmental certifications offer a better indicator of a product's eco credentials, including labor conditions for workers involved in production. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Jeanette Cwienk

This summer's high street fashions have more in common than styles and colors. From the pink puff-sleeved dream going for just €19.99 ($22.52) at H&M, to Zara's elegant €12.95 ($14.63) halter-neck dress, clothing stores are alive with cheap organic cotton.

"Sustainable" collections with aspirational own-brand names like C&A's "Wear the change," Zara's "join life" or H&M's "CONSCIOUS" are offering cheap fashion and a clean environmental conscience. Such, at least, is the message. But is it really that simple?

Read More Show Less