NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - The New York City pension funds hold more than 11 million shares of Exxon stock. Now the funds and City Comptroller John Liu have called on the oil company to release data about its fracking operations.
“Fracking carries significant concerns about poisoned drinking water, toxic chemical leaks, and explosions,” Liu told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb on Tuesday.
“Here we’re saying with a billion dollars at stake in our pension funds in this company, we can’t sit by and allow them to say ‘Don’t worry. We got it covered,’” Liu said.
Liu and the funds want data about air emissions, complaints, and what’s being done to reduce the use of potentially harmful chemicals underground.
“New York City pension funds have a long history of engaging corporations to do the right thing and that’s precisely what we’re doing here. We’re asking them to do the right thing,” Liu said.
Meanwhile, the trustee of New York State’s $150.1 billion pension fund has reached an agreement with Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. to disclose what it’s doing to reduce risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday that Cabot has agreed to publicly disclose its policy and procedures for eliminating or minimizing the use of toxic substances in fracking fluids. In turn, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposal submitted for the company’s 2013 proxy statement to demand such disclosure.
DiNapoli says shareholders’ value is better protected when companies disclose the risks associated with their operations.
New York’s pension fund has 184,350 shares of Pittsburgh-based Cabot worth $6.9 million.
DiNapoli also has agreements with Hess Corp., Range Resources and SM Energy to disclose potential business and environmental risks of fracking.
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