Exxon Supports Responsible Methane Regulation in the Face of Proposed EPA Rollback


MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609

Oakland, CA—Dec. 20, 2018—In the final week for public comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to roll back existing methane regulations, ExxonMobil submitted a formal comment supporting the need for strong methane policy.

This action came two weeks after the company received a letter sent on behalf of 61 investors representing $1.9 trillion in assets under management. The letter requested that ExxonMobil follow through on its commitment to advocate for sound methane policy. Investors have also expressed opposition to the proposed rollbacks by directly commenting to the EPA.

Shareholder groups like As You Sow have engaged Exxon on methane for years, including the filing of a 2017 shareholder proposal that received a strong 39% percent vote. Investors have been pleased by notable progress made by Exxon on this issue — the company has taken important actions such as setting a methane reduction target and joining voluntary initiatives such as the methane Guiding Principles and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which recently set a group-wide methane target.

The progress made by companies like Exxon is under threat by the Trump Administration’s proposed rollbacks. The proposed weakening of standards providing for cost effective methane emissions reductions and monitoring concern investors; not only will valuable product be lost to flares and venting, but the material risk of climate change will increase as the oil and gas industry backs away from current standards.

Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is a critical, cost effective action in the fight to maintain a livable planet. The proposed loosening of methane regulations will not only harm the climate, but does the industry no favors. In a competitive global oil market, low carbon energy is increasingly a marker of value. Exxon’s statement in support of sound regulations underscores the unreasonableness of the proposed rollbacks.”

Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“Investors have vocally opposed the irrational methane regulation rollback proposed by the Trump administration which increases risk to the oil and gas industry and to shareholders of these companies. We are pleased that ExxonMobil has responded and taken action to demonstrate its commitment to sound methane policy by publicly commenting to the EPA that it ‘supports federal regulatory standards to mitigate emissions for both new and existing source oil and gas facilities.’ By urging the EPA to uphold the key elements of existing methane controls, ExxonMobil is demonstrating that such regulations are indeed in the best interests of all.”

To learn more about As You Sow’s work on climate change, click here.

# # #

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. See our resolutions here.