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ExxonMobil Shareholders: What's Up With Fracking? - Sierra Daily
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Sierra Daily

May 25, 2011

ExxonMobil Shareholders: What's Up With Fracking?

ExxonMobil_logo For years various do-gooder groups have bought a few shares of stock from various loathsome companies in order to raise troublesome questions at said Chevron_logo companies' annual shareholder meetings. If they're lucky, maybe 5% of the shareholders will agree that maybe the company shouldn't be razing the rainforests/displacing indigenous people/changing the climate. A vote of 10% is considered astonishing. So today the corporate accountability group As You Sow got the shareholders of both Chevron and ExxonMobil to ask the oil giants to issue reports on the environmental and financial risks of "fracking," the process by which an unknown stew of chemical is blasted into shale formations at high pressure in order to loosen up natural gas, making it available for pumping. (Background here.) The astonishing results:

ExxonMobil: 28% in favor

Chevron: 41% in favor

"We know there are risks," [ExxonMobil CEO Rex] Tillerson told reporters after the meeting. "We're not trying to characterize this as an activity that does not have risks."

Well that's good news! Maybe it would be less risky if the drilling companies would disclose what chemicals they're using. To get them to fess up, you can become a "fractivist."

--Paul Rauber

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