Fracking and Ecuador proposals get strong support at Chevron annual meeting

Shareholders display unease at oil major

Shareholder proposals on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the controversial $19bn (€14.6bn) Ecuador liability received strong shareholder support at Chevron’s annual general meeting in California yesterday.
The proposal spearheaded by the Sisters of St. Francis on shale energy operations/fracking had 31% support, according to a preliminary tally. Investors voting in favour included major names such as CalPERS, the Netherlands’ PGGM and the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA).
And 33% supported SRI consultant Simon Billenness’s Ecuador-related motion calling for a lowering of the threshold to allow shareholders to call their own meetings. This was also backed by the likes of CalPERS, PGGM and the SBA. Billenness is among those that have received a subpoena from Chevron relating to previous shareholder resolutions on the Ecuador judgment.
The strong support followed a petition from 14 shareholder groups to the Securities and Exchange Commission, calling on the SEC to investigate the company’s Ecuador disclosures.A proposal calling for an independent director with environmental expertise from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli – himself facing an ethics complaint from Chevron – received a 22% vote, up slightly from last year.

Some investors voted against the re-election of CEO and Chairman John Watson as a director, including faith-based firm Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and PGGM.
In total there were nine shareholder proposals on a range of social and environmental issues at the meeting in San Ramon.
Meanwhile, a fracking proposal at ExxonMobil – filed by the New York City Pension funds and advocacy group As You Sow, received a 30.2% vote at the oil major’s AGM. The resolution calls on Exxon to provide detailed annual data on its reductions in fracking air emissions.

“As today’s vote makes clear, Exxon’s shareowners have real concerns about the risks that hydraulic fracking poses to water supplies, local communities and the environment,” said New York City Comptroller John Liu.