Hydraulic fracturing is a way to drill for natural gas, commonly known as fracking, which poses threats to the water supply of communities near drilling operations. New York State Comptroller Thomas NiNapoli said in May, “Oil and gas firms are being too vague about how they will manage the environmental challenges resulting from fracking,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli’s office filed a shareholder resolution with Cabot Oil & Gas asking them to prepare a report about environmental risks and come up with a plan to reduce or eliminate them. The shareholder resolution was withdrawn in response to commitments from Cabot Oil & Gas.
Investors filed a total of nine shareholder resolutions, including the one with Cabot, with U.S. companies on fracking, practices. Three of the other resolutions were withdrawn in response to corporate commitments. Like the resolution with Cabot, the resolutions asked for the respective companies to prepare a report about the environmental risks posed by fracking, and prepare a plan to eliminate them. The three other resolutions were filed with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, El Paso Corporation and Southwestern Energy.
“The strength of this year’s proxy season shows unwavering investor concern about how companies are managing the environmental risks of fossil fuel sourcing and the ongoing shift to a clean, low-carbon global economy,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, which coordinates the shareholder resolutions along with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). “Investors want stronger assurances companies are effectively navigating these key market trends.”
“Hydraulic fracturing can potentially poison local water supplies, pollute the air and leave us with a waste management nightmare,” said Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, who filed resolutions with Carrizo and Cabot as trustee of the $140.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund. “Shareholders and the public need to be assured that companies fully appreciate the regulatory, legal, environmental and reputational risks at stake. Natural gas is a crucial part of the nation’s energy supply, but it has to be extracted the right way.”
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