Range Resources agrees to proposal’s recommendations

The largest natural gas extraction firm in Pennsylvania will report on ways of cutting emissions of the greenhouse gas methane in response to a shareholder resolution filed by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

At the AGM on May 15, 2018, the UUA’s proposal was presented by Judith Lane from the Westside UU Congregation. While Range management opposed the non-binding resolution, 50.3 percent of the shareholders who cast ballots supported the measure.

“This means that mainstream investors, some of the big asset managers, are concerned about the company’s management of their methane emissions and agree that they’re a big risk because of their relationship to climate change,” UUA Treasurer Tim Brennan told State Impact Pennsylvania, an affiliate of National Public Radio.

In a follow-up meeting on August 28, the company told the UUA that it agreed to adopt all of the recommendations in the resolution. The company will enhance its disclosure of methane emissions management, describe leak detection protocols, and will set an emissions reduction target. Ultimately the company said it aims to reduce emissions to zero.

Cutting “fugitive emissions” of methane from natural gas exploration, extraction and transmission is extremely important in the fight against climate change. Natural gas is considered a transition fuel, producing lower CO2 emissions when burned than coal. In addition, burning coal produces a long list of harmful pollutants damaging to human health. However, when vented into the atmosphere, methane itself is a potent greenhouse gas 84 times more powerful than CO2 over 20 years. Therefore, for natural gas to be part of the climate solution, leaks must be minimized. That is why the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility has mounted a shareholder campaign targeting natural gas companies demanding that they measure and reduce methane emissions. The UUA has been a partner in this effort.

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