ICCR members’ work engaging oil & gas companies on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing started in 2007 and focused on both social and environmental impacts.
As You Sow and Boston Common Asset Management, with IEHN, launched the Disclosing the Facts series of reports in 2013 with the initial report called “Extracting the Facts,” published jointly with ICCR in 2012. The reports were designed to spur a ‘race to the top’ for companies on fracking impacts, including toxic chemicals, water and waste, air emissions, community impacts, and governance.
Methane Investor Campaign: 2015-Present
In 2015, ICCR launched a concerted initiative on methane among investor networks with the goal of engaging U.S. companies across the value chain on improving disclosure, reducing emissions, and reporting critical information on methane management efforts, such as leak detection and repair (LDAR). This initiative has also supported the development of strong methane regulations at the federal and state level.
Investor Actions Supporting Strong Federal and State Methane Regulations:
An ICCR-led coalition of 37 investors sent letters to 31 leading oil & gas and energy companies, voicing concerns about the impact of methane emissions on climate change and urging them to engage constructively in the rulemaking process.
ICCR submitted formal comments to the EPA on the methane rule on December 3rd 2015, and encouraged members to do the same.
In May of 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new rule requiring oil and gas companies to find and repair leaks on all significant sources from new and modified infrastructure, and to use cost-effective technologies and practices to limit methane emissions from hydraulically fractured oil wells, pneumatic controllers and pumps, and compressors. In March of 2017, the agency’s newly sworn-in administrator, Scott Pruitt, responded to industry trade association pressure to re-write the regulations, deemed crucial to cutting planet-warming emissions as part of the Paris climate deal.
ICCR released an investor Statement backed by $3.6 trillion in AUM, supporting U.S. and Canada’s March 2016 announcement on limiting Methane emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry.
In 2018, an investor letter was sent to 30 companies on behalf of 61 investor signatories (US$1.9 trillion in AUM), urging companies to publicly declare their support for continued EPA regulation of methane emissions and to oppose the elimination of direct regulation of methane emissions by the Trump Administration.
In July 2020, 50 institutional investors (US $4 trillion in AUM) issued a statement of support for a strong final regulation to reduce air pollution and methane emissions proposed by the Pennsylvania DEP.
An investor letter, signed mostly by ICCR members, supported strong methane regulations in NM. ICCR staff met with NM regulators to urge the strongest provisions possible.
In August 2020, a statement was sent to 35 oil and gas producers and midstream companies urging support for continued federal regulations signed by 140 investors with over $5.5 trillion in AUM.
In the spring of 2021, a group of 168 global investors representing $US 6.23 trillion in assets under management/advisement released a statementcalling for stronger methane regulations and enforcement.
Engagement on Methane Management
Investors also continue to engage companies on better management and disclosure of methane emissions in their operations. Results include:
Investor pressure led to the inclusion of more detailed disclosure on methane in the CDP oil & gas supplement.
Concerns by investors about super-emitters and unreliable methane emissions data have led to greater reliance by companies on direct measurement.
A focus by investors on flaring has led to important corporate commitments to ‘no routine flaring by 2025’.
An investor focus on the importance of direct measurement and accountability has led to increasing numbers of companies joining the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0), an international accountability initiative.