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April 26, 2012
Retail Investors Invited to Discussion on Fracking
    by Robert Kropp

Moxy Vote provides a forum for individual investors to vote their proxies, and invites them to weigh in on hydraulic fracturing resolutions at Chevron and Exxon Mobil.

Shareowner resolutions addressing the environmental and community impacts of hydraulic fracturing have gained unprecedented support over the course of just two proxy seasons, and oil and gas companies engaged in the controversial practice appear to be listening.

Mark Regier of Everence Financial told this week that resolutions at EOG Resources and Chesapeake Energy were withdrawn recently after agreements were reached with the companies, bringing the number of withdrawals this year to six. A total of ten shareowner resolutions addressing the community impacts of fracking were filed this year.

Two of the remaining resolutions address the practice at Chevron and Exxon Mobil. In its resolution at Exxon, the Park Foundation requests that Exxon report "on the short-term and long-term risks to the company's operations, finances and gas exploration associated with community concerns, known regulatory impacts, moratoriums, and public opposition to hydraulic fracturing and related natural gas development." The resolution filed at Chevron states, "Negative local impacts are straining community resources and generating opposition to fracturing operations."

In the year since the resolutions filed in 2011 averaged 40% support, the environmental and community risks of hydraulic fracturing have received widespread attention. As Richard Liroff of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) told late last year, "We struck a nerve."

For Regier of Everence, the question is, "How do we manage a gold rush?"

So it's distinctly possible that the fracking resolutions still standing this year could receive majority votes in support, and one way to bring them to that tipping point is to attract the support of retail investors. However, the influence of individual investors has declined in the US in recent decades, and relatively few exercise their responsibility to vote their shares.

Over the past three years, Moxy Vote has provided retail investors with a forum from which they can vote their proxies. The sustainability focus of the free service can be seen in its list of advocates, which includes a number of sustainable institutional investors.

This year, Moxy Vote is encouraging individual investors to support shareowner resolutions addressing fracking at Chevron and Exxon Mobil. Retail investors and other concerned citizens have been invited to join As You Sow and Green America in calling on the companies to produce reports "outlining the potential hazards, effects and necessary precautions surrounding hydraulic fracturing."

Retail shareowners can vote their proxies at Moxy Vote by accessing the Shareholders link at its website.


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