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Large multinational banks now asking for data on fracking risks from companies

Amy Mall

Posted May 8, 2013 in Health and the Environment

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Rich Liroff reports in his blog on GreenBiz.com that European banks want more hard data on risks from frackers. According to Rich, some of the world's largest banks, as part of the Climate Principles for the Finance Sector, wish to see quantitative data on key performance indicators in 16 areas of corporate performance. The data are being requested to shine a light on how oil and gas companies are managing environmental risks and community impacts in their fracking operations. The areas of concern are wide ranging, and include air pollution (including methane emissions), well integrity, worker health and safety, truck traffic, chemicals, waste management, and more.

American banks and investors should follow the European lead.

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Comments

Susan CrottsMay 8 2013 09:37 PM

Efforts to repair environments damaged by fracking will be extremely costly. The cost in illness and death to humans and animals will also emerge after fracking has done its damage. The idea that there is enough money and actual ability to deal with these issues is extremely naive. US banks should perform a thorough risk analysis. What is happening to the property values where the land has been fracked and water contaminated should be enough to peak US banks interest. Like nuclear power plants, the real risk and cost of dealing with the contamination is going to be astronomical.

Michael BerndtsonMay 9 2013 11:44 AM

Susan, very perceptive and interesting comment. The US banks operate under the premise of "socialize the risk and privatize the reward."

Sadly, without a Superfund set-aside, cleanup is being paid directly by taxpayers via the annual EPA budget - since a tax on chemicals and fuels manufacturing hasn't been collected since several administrations back. So funding remediation of any impacts due to fracking will have to line up behind CERCLA sites, RCRA corrective actions, many LUST sites ($2 billion was just pulled in the transportation bill), oil and gas infrastructure and processing facilities cleanup, coal and hard rock mine restorations, DOD and DOE facilities, etc. Liability transfers and risk based no actions for impacted sites are starting to merge into one big one throughout the US. But what about jobs! ;)

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