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Investors Applaud EPA’s Methane Emissions Rule
Ceres and members of its $13 trillion Investor Network on Climate Risk applauded the EPA’s announcement today of draft rules to address and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry – the largest industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S.
“As a long-term investor with a fiduciary responsibility to California's educators, CalSTRS is concerned about the loss of revenue associated with methane leakage,” said Anne Sheehan, Director of Corporate Governance at the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). “As such, CalSTRS supports the EPA’s efforts to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production and deliver achievable climate benefits.”
“Without strong action to reduce methane emissions, there is a real risk that natural gas will be seen as part of the problem, rather than as a bridge to a low-carbon future,” said Andrew Logan, director of the oil & gas program at the sustainability advocacy nonprofit, Ceres. “We believe that the regulations announced today are therefore in the long-term interest of the industry, as well as the U.S. economy as a whole.”
In July, Ceres and Trillium Asset Management brought together investors representing $1.5 trillion in support of a strong federal standard for methane.
Investors are concerned that methane emissions pose a serious threat to climate stability, accelerating the rate of warming in the near term and threatening infrastructure and economic harm that will weaken not only the companies we invest in, but the nation as a whole.
"Reducing methane emissions is a cost-effective way to combat climate change and strengthen America's economy," said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. "As long-term investors, we understand that strong methane emissions regulations will help to stimulate capital investment in the energy sector, reduce reputational risk and improve performance for producers. I applaud President Obama and the EPA for their strong commitment to this critical issue."
“The draft rules demonstrate a positive commitment to confront climate change, promote economic growth and provide more regulatory clarity for the industry, but it is a first step,” said Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President at Trillium Asset Management, LLC. “Addressing existing sources of methane emission is the next logical and reasonable step in this process. Doing so is important not only for the climate, but also for industry and a stable investing environment.”
Strong methane rules are also key to the success of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, since any shift toward greater burning of natural gas for power will only generate climate benefits if methane emissions are kept under control. As American policy and business leaders prepare for the COP21 climate talks in December, investors are pushing for action on carbon dioxide and methane in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions overall and demonstrate American leadership on climate.
“I applaud the White House for its commitment to address climate change and improve air quality by introducing cost effective measures to reduce methane gas leaks in the oil and gas industry,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Climate change has the potential to put New Yorkers’ health, our state economy, and the investments of the New York State Common Retirement Fund in harm’s way. We will continue to partner with Ceres and other investors to support common sense policies. We will also continue to exercise our rights as long-term shareholders and urge the companies we invest in to take steps to mitigate climate change, adapt to the risks it presents, and take advantage of opportunities in a new clean energy economy.”
For more information, visit www.ceres.org/methanestatement.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $13 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of 34 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.