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New shareholder resolutions demand answers about the risks of fracking from oil and gas companies

Amy Mall

Posted June 12, 2013

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For the fourth year, shareholders at oil and gas companies recently voted on proposals urging the companies to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. Since 2010, shareholders have filed 37 resolutions at 20 companies. 

This year, shareholders decided to withdraw resolutions from Ultra Petroleum, Cabot, and EOG Resources because these companies agreed to publish updated policies and procedures for reducing their air emissions, water consumption, and toxic chemical use.

However, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Pioneer Natural Resources didn't address investors’ concerns, and so resolutions from their shareholders called on the companies to quantifiably report the steps they are taking to reduce air emissions, water consumption, community complaints, violations, and toxic fracking chemicals.

Shareowners sent very strong messages to fracking companies and demonstrated broad investor demand for hard data to assess the environmental and safety risks posed by fracking operations. At Pioneer, 41.7% voted in favor of the resolution. About 30% voted in favor of the resolution at Exxon’s annual meeting,  and Chevron received a 31% vote in favor of the fracking resolution.

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Michael BerndtsonJun 13 2013 10:40 AM

Here's a nice summary of wealth distribution in America by William Domhoff of UC Santa Cruz.

Statistically speaking the top 10 percent wealthwise owns 80 percent of equities (company stock). I'm going to hazard a guess that of the 10 percent, most are baby boomers and older. So what's my point? There's a lot of old people with lesser than average days left on this earth controlling or being advised on what to do with their money. Here in Illinois we just let fracking pass without much of a fight from environmentalists - or environmentalists who put land, air and water protection above stock price and nest egg.

Basically my point is that a big chunk of old people (50 and older) in areas that aren't exposed to wilderness and wildlife, don't care about or don't like environmentalism. And the older one gets the more ones brain gets calcified, incapable of creative thought and conceptualizing anything other than what's been learned previously at a younger age . So watching Fox Business News, CNBC and that business program on PBS becomes relaxing and reassuring. None of these programs take an anti-fracking stance - at all.

Even those older Americans who were once sympathetic to environmental issues and watch PBS and NPR exclusively, receive information from comforting news readers who are sponsored by corporations from markets such as oil and gas, agricultural chemicals, security and defense, rail transportation, business equipment and services, finance and investment advisory. None have any fiduciary interest in slowing down fracking.

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