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Investor Coalition Successfully Urges Natural Gas Companies to Address Fracking Impacts June 17th, 2014

Under pressure from a coalition of investors for the fifth year in a row, major oil and gas companies including ExxonMobil, EQT, and Occidental Petroleum agreed to report on steps being taken to mitigate the adverse environmental and community impacts of their hydraulic fracturing operations.

The coalition of investors, which includes faith-based and socially responsible investors, as well as major public pension funds, filed shareholder proposals at Chevron, ExxonMobil, EQT, EOG, Pioneer Natural Resources, and Occidental Petroleum earlier this year, raising concerns about the risks associated with the impacts of company hydraulic fracturing operations. In response to corporate commitments, shareholders withdrew the proposals at ExxonMobil, EQT, Occidental Petroleum, and Pioneer Natural. Nearly a third of shareholders voted in favor of the proposals presented at EOG and Chevron’s annual meetings of shareholders.

The Missionary Oblates co-filed on the fracking proposal with Chevron, and has engaged a number of oil and gas companies on emissions reductions

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Catholic News Service’s Fracking Series Illuminates Controversial Issue February 21st, 2014

Image Source: US EPA

Image Source: US EPA

Catholic News Service reporter, Dennis Sadowski, has written a series of five articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith perspective. Fracking is a complicated issue, yet Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.

By clicking on a title, you will be taken to the article at the Catholic News Service website:

To frack or not to frack: Debate examines America’s quest for energy

Advances in drilling technology led to fracking’s rapid expansion

Religious community chooses nature over riches of a natural gas lease

Faith motivates Catholics to speak out on gas, oil-drilling practices

Families seek recourse in lawsuits for wells considered a nuisance

Catholic voices raise moral concerns in country’s fracking debates


Understanding Fracking: Catholic News Service series January 6th, 2014

Hydraulic_Fracturing-Related_ActivitiesDennis Sadowski, staff writer for Catholic News Service, has completed a series of articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith-based perspective. “It was a complicated issue to examine,” he informed Catholic Rural Life. Nevertheless, Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.

The Oblate JPIC Office has been engaging oil and gas companies on social and environmental issues related to fracking.

The six articles of the Catholic News Service series can be found via links posted on the Catholic Rural Life website.

Thanks to National Catholic Rural Life for this information.

Catholic Moral Concerns on Fracking December 20th, 2013

Anti-fracking protest in Pittsburg, photo: Marcellus Protest/Creative Commons.

Anti-fracking protest in Pittsburg, photo: Marcellus Protest/Creative Commons.

Catholic News Service has a good article on fracking that looks at the church’s contribution to the discussion about this rapidly expanding source of energy in the U.S. Catholic social teaching focuses on the importance of protecting creation and promoting the common good, and the emphasis in this debate has been on the moral concerns.

Some bishops have raised concerns. While not supporting a ban, Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., president of Catholic Rural Life, said he harbors deep concerns over fracking. “I think the public needs more information than is presently being provided about the chemicals in this mix that is being injected into the earth to release the gas and oil,” he told Catholic News Service.

The bishop also expressed apprehension about the amount of water fracking requires, especially in parts of the country where water is a precious commodity.

Learn more. Read the Catholic News Service article: Catholic voices raise moral concerns in country’s fracking debate.

U.S. Grassroots Effort to Ban Fracking Ramps Up September 14th, 2011

Environmental Justice and Health Groups Solicit the UN to Recognize Fracking as a Human Rights Issue; Over 5,000 Calls Made to the White House from Citizens Concerned About Fracking

Contamination from fracking in many areas sets water faucets on fire. Source: The film, "Gasland"

Concern about the  impacts of hydrofracking for natural gas on the integrity of water supplies in affected areas has been strong for some time. Last year, the New York City Council voting unanimously to block fracking in the New York City watershed. Faith-based investors have been raising concerns at the corporate level about the pollution of local water supplies by this method now commonly used in natural gas drilling. But there has not been a national outcry at the grassroots level – until now.

Yesterday,  over 5,000 Americans from all 50 states flooded White House phone lines yesterday to tell President Obama to ban the polluting, dangerous practice. Spearheaded by the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, United for Action, and Center for Health, Environment and Justice, nearly 50 organizations across the country and individuals in every state called on Obama to ban fracking.

“President Obama has got an energy problem on his hands,” says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “Citizens, many of whom helped to get him elected, are becoming increasingly worried about fracking and other dirty energy schemes the administration is assessing, like the Keystone XL pipeline. Our water resources should not be sacrificed for energy, and he’s hearing this in no uncertain terms from people all over the country.”

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