SAN RAMON, CA -- April 27 -- ChevronTexaco shareholders sent a clear message to the company today when 9% voted in favor of a shareholder resolution asking ChevronTexaco to produce a report on environmental and business risks of oil drilling in sensitive areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is a strong level of support for a first year resolution. The resolution was organized by the Sierra Club, Green Century Capital Management, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.
No issue has energized our members more than protecting the fragile ecosystem of the Arctic Refuge, said Larry Fahn, President of the Sierra Club, which filed the resolution. I am pleased that so many ChevronTexaco shareholders agree that drilling in sensitive areas is bad for business and bad for the environment.
Prior to the meeting, representatives of the Sierra Club and Ecopledge presented over 30,000 signatures from the public in support of preserving the Arctic Refuge. A Green Century Capital Management representative also delivered a letter from institutional investors worth over $300 billion asking ChevronTexaco to adopt a policy to preserve sensitive areas. Among those who have spoken out in support of the resolution are California State Controller Steve Westly, who sits on the boards of the nations largest public pension funds, and the United Steelworkers of America, which represents a majority of ChevronTexacos employees.
Given the intensity of public support for the Refuge, ChevronTexaco would risk a significant backlash if it decided to operate there, said Green Centurys Michael Leone. We believe that shareholders have a right to know why their company is risking shareholder value by publicly promoting a project that is opposed by a majority of Americans.
BP and Shell, two of ChevronTexacos major competitors, have sought to address their operations in sensitive areas by disclosing more information about their current operations and developing policies to address where development is appropriate and which areas should be preserved.
As extractive industries are moving to reduce operational impacts on biodiversity and protected areas worldwide, ChevronTexaco has opted for merely paying lip service to shareholders, while catering to pro-drilling members of Congress in order to gain access to some of our country's most valued public lands, said USPIRGs Justin Tatham.
A similar resolution, filed by Green Century, will be voted on by Exxon Mobil shareholders at the companys annual meeting on May 25 in Dallas, Texas.
The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest, largest, most influential grass-roots environmental organization with over 800,000 members nationwide.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund is the national office for the state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are nonpartisan, nonprofit environmental and consumer advocacy organizations that are active across the country.
Green Century Capital Management is the administrator of the first family of no-load, environmentally responsible mutual funds, the Green Century Funds.