Boston, June 3, 2022 – Green Century° revealed on Friday that it withdrew a shareholder proposal calling on Chevron to refrain from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The oil and gas company informed Green Century that it had terminated its existing leases in the refuge, has no remaining stake in the Arctic, and is not pursuing any exploration projects in the region.
“Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has never been a good idea. It would be catastrophic for polar bears and caribou, damaging to our climate, and bad for the bottom line,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “We’re glad to see that Chevron has finally acknowledged this reality and abandoned any plans for oil exploration and development in this national treasure.”
Green Century filed an initial proposal calling on Chevron to renounce drilling in the Arctic in December 2020. Though Chevron publicly rebuffed the proposal, the company quietly went about the expensive process of exiting its Arctic leases, formally committing to relinquish the position in October 2021. This was not yet public knowledge when Green Century filed a follow-up proposal on the issue in December 2021, however Chevron did tell Green Century soon after, prompting the withdrawal of the shareholder proposal. Green Century was obligated to keep this information confidential until the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), the lessor, made it public.
The news that Chevron had terminated its leases in the Arctic Refuge was brought to public attention in late May through an article in the Anchorage Daily News, which reported that Chevron and Hilcorp had paid $10 million dollars to the ASRC to cancel these leases. The Anchorage Daily News uncovered this information in the ASRC’s recent annual report and quoted a Chevron spokesperson who verified it.
Drilling in the Arctic would harm endangered species, contribute to climate change
“Chevron and BP spent $22.5 million to maintain leases in the Arctic Refuge in 2017 and never drilled. Now, Chevron and Hilcorp — which took over BP’s lease — would rather pay a $10 million breakage fee than continue to hold the leases,” said Green Century shareholder advocate Thomas Peterson. “It’s hard to imagine any business case for drilling in the refuge with a track record like this. It’s time to end this leasing program for good, before irreparable damage is done to the refuge’s fragile ecosystems, to its sacred places for Indigenous people and to our climate.”
The Bureau of Land Management calculated that burning all the oil in the Arctic Refuge would release more than 4.3 gigatons of CO2. That’s equivalent to 94% of all U.S. emissions from energy consumption in 2020. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd as well as more than 200 bird species, 42 species of fish and 45 mammal species, including four threatened ones that are protected under the Endangered Species Act. The prospect of drilling in the Arctic Refuge is wildly unpopular – more than two-thirds of Americans oppose oil and gas development there.
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are a family of fossil fuel-free, environmentally-responsible mutual funds. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2022, no securities mentioned were held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 6/22