Saturday, March 10, 2018

Dozens of shareholder climate resolutions target oil, gas

                                                                 Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Image












Concerned investors want details on climate risk planning, methane and lobbying, but some executives see Trump’s embrace of fossil fuels as reason to say no.


David Hasemyer writes for Inside Climate News:

When a group of investors asked Noble Energy, Inc., to report on the risks climate change poses to its business, the company's response put on display how the Trump administration's pro-fossil-fuel stance is swaying the perennial debate.

Similar resolutions brought by concerned shareholders have won increasing investor support since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and grudging acceptance by some in the industry.

Not Noble. The Houston-based oil and gas company urged its shareholders to vote down the resolution, and then it described its vision of an unfettered regulatory future under the Trump administration.

"The current administration and the Republican Congress have adopted policies aimed at increasing the production of domestic oil and natural gas resources and repealed or amended certain executive orders and regulatory policies that have restricted or adversely impacted development," the company wrote. "In sum, the proposal calls for a report that would be principally based on speculative assumptions about a legislative and regulatory environment that is inherently unpredictable."

Nearly three dozen shareholder resolutions related to climate change risk have been filed this year with publicly traded oil and gas companies and electric utilities, to be voted on by their shareholders at annual meetings spread throughout the spring. Executives often urge shareholders to vote down such resolutions, and there are concerns this year that the administration's positions could lead to even more complacency, by both companies and their investors.

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