Investors Take Action for Oil and Gas Accountability

By Jennifer Krill

May 23, 2011

The activists' rite of spring has arrived, this year with a new crop of shareholder resolutions looking to reform the oil and gas industry. In 2011 investor-owned oil and gas companies are considering a series of proposals calling for greater transparency and disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Shareholders have filed resolutions to address fracking at 9 companies total: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Ultra Petroleum, El Paso, Cabot Oil & Gas, Southwestern Energy, Energen, Anadarko and Carrizo Oil & Gas. "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 in a January press release. DiNapoli's office filed a resolution with Cabot Oil & Gas asking for a specific plan to reduce or eliminate hazards from fracking. This week, shareholder advocacy group As You Sow will be moving resolutions at ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Ultra Petroleum.

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Natural Gas: a "bridge" to where?

By Bruce Baizel

May 23, 2011

Credit: xdmag
Credit: XDmag

Now, as the issues of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing have focused attention on this sector, significant questions have emerged about the practicality and desirability of using natural gas as a bridge fuel.

One of the most interesting of the recent analyses of these questions is a report by David Hughes.  He suggests that a convergence of interests between the natural gas industry looking to hype a new production prospect with investors, the energy policy establishment looking for a new energy source to support future economic growth and large environmental interests looking for a simple way to lower carbon emissions gave rise to the natural gas as bridge fuel mantra.

The most interesting part of his report is a close look at the production numbers for natural gas and an assessment of whether it is even possible for natural gas to serve as a bridge fuel.  His bottom line:  that the bridge fuel concept for natural gas represents wishful thinking and is not possible to achieve.

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Where do you think the fracking sand comes from?

By Sharon Wilson

May 23, 2011

Just when you thought you had learned all the dirty secrets of the shale drilling debacle, here comes something new. It took a while, but you finally figured out that the landman s depiction of two tanks sitting in a green field with flowers all around was far from accurate. You learned about the multiple tanks, diesel fumes, noise, bright lights, constant truck traffic, noxious odors, massive pipelines, injection wells, landfarms, waste pits, frack pits, compressor stations, tank farms, water depletion, water contamination, spills, processing plants, nose bleeds, royalty checks that never came, rashes, illegal dumping and etc. But there s more and if you live in North Texas, you should pay close attention.

The sand used for hydraulic fracturing has to be mined and that can be quite a destructive process. Sometimes, as is the case in the Ozarks, it requires mountain top removal. Other times they have to dredge the rivers, or they just dig the sand.

Here are some of the environmental concerns from frack sand mining. Thanks to Friends of the Rivers.

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Livia Firth signs the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge

By Lucy Pearce

May 20, 2011

Did Colin answer? Did you stutter? That was the brilliant tweet sent back at me after I tweeted Feeling jittery after trying to call Livia Firth to ask her to support campaign to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska. She wasn't in! Now, focus...

In the end I never did actually speak with Livia Firth. But through her PA, we established that YES she did want to sign the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge - in an effort to help protect the world's greatest wild salmon fishery. In doing this, Livia Firth, Creative Director, Eco Age ( joins an illustrious list of 50 jewellery retailers including Tiffany s and Goldsmiths, pledging not to use gold from the Pebble Mine.

She said:

As a supporter of a jewelry industry that supports environmental and social justice I am happy to support the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge. The environment is under huge strain. Never have our personal consumer decisions mattered more. Meanwhile industries can make it easy for us to do the right thing by taking responsibility for their supply chains."

We re thrilled to have Livia Firth support the efforts to protect Bristol Bay, and hope that her support will inspire more jewellers to get on board. If you re a jeweller and would like to sign the pledge, please contact

To see jeweller statements and photos, go to:

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Good news for Montana's rivers & streams: cyanide mining bill vetoed!

By Bonnie Gestring

May 20, 2011

Good news for Montana's rivers and streams!

Last week Montana's Governor Schweitzer vetoed a bill (SB 306) to overturn Montana s ban on open pit, cyanide leach mining.

Every major open pit, cyanide leach mine in Montana has caused significant water pollution, and taxpayers have been left with tens of millions in clean-up costs. Drinking water supplies, agricultural lands, and native trout have suffered.

Citizens took matters into their own hands in 1998, when Montanans first passed a citizen's initiative against open pit cyanide leach mining, and then again in 2004, by an even larger margin (62%). This year, a Montana legislator introduced a bill to undermine the initiative, at the request of the Montana mining industry.

Thank you Governor Schweitzer for vetoing the bill, and upholding the will of the voters!

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