Transocean Board Member Env Expertise 2013
|Filer||New York State Comptroller|
|Sector||Oil and Gas|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Independent board member with environmental expertise|
|Status||No Vote For Technical Reasons|
Environmental expertise is critical to the success of companies in the energy industry because of the significant environmental issues associated with their operations. Shareholders, lenders, host country governments and regulators, and affected communities are focused on these impacts. A company’s inability to demonstrate that its environmental policies and practices are in line with internationally accepted standards can lead to difficulties in raising new capital and obtaining the necessary licences from regulators.
Transocean , the world’s largest offshore oil drilling contractor, has repeatedly been cited for practices harmful to the environment:
- In September 2012, Reuters reported that the U.S. government was seeking $1.5 billion from Transocean to resolve civil and criminal claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- In 2012, Transocean and Chevron were charged by federal prosecutors in Brazil with $19.7 billion in civil and criminal damages arising from oil spills off the Brazilian coast in 2011 and 2012.
We believe that controversies such as these have the potential to damage shareholder value and that the company must respond to environmental challenges in an effective, strategic and transparent manner in order to restore trust and minimize the adverse impact of its operations.
We believe that Transocean would benefit by addressing the environmental impact of its business at the most strategic level by appointing a specialist to the board. An authoritative figure with acknowledged environmental expertise and standing could perform a valuable role for the company by enabling Transocean to more effectively address the environmental issues inherent in its business. It would also help ensure that the highest levels of attention focus on the development of environmental standards for new projects. Such a board role would strengthen the company’s ability to demonstrate the seriousness with which it addresses environmental issues.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that, as elected board directors’ terms of office expire, at least one candidate be recommended who:
- has a high level of expertise and experience in environmental matters relevant to hydrocarbon exploration and production and is widely recognized in the business and environmental communities as an authority in such field, as reasonably determined by the company’s board, and
- will qualify, subject to exceptions in extraordinary circumstances explicitly specified by the board, as an independent director under the standards applicable to a NYSE listed company,
in order that the board includes at least one director satisfying the foregoing criteria, which director shall have designated responsibility on the board for environmental matters.