Another shareholder is pushing Range Resources Corp. to more openly share its methane emissions reduction efforts, calling on the company to conduct and release a report by September that details how it’s managing the pollutant.
The Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), which represents more than 1,000 congregations, has put forward a proposal for shareholders to vote on at the annual meeting on May 16. It would require Range to issue a report reviewing methane mitigation measures, including monitoring and its use of leak detection and repair technologies, among other things.
While UUA owns only a fraction of stock, or 130 shares valued at a little more than $2,000 at the end of last year, similar proposals have been put forward by other shareholders in the past seeking greater disclosure and setting targets for methane leakage. Arjuna Capital put forward a proposal in 2014 and Trillium Asset Management filed one that received nearly 22% of the vote in 2013, according to UUA.
The association said Range’s “nondisclosure” of its methane management is “out of alignment” with its stated values of advancing the best practices in emissions monitoring and reduction.
“Methane leakage can reduce the advantage of natural gas over other fossil fuel sources and poses a risk to shareholder value,” UUA said in a supporting memo filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We believe the requested report will provide investors with the information they require to better understand methane-related risk and also offer an opportunity for the company to strengthen disclosure.”
In its proxy statement, Range said UUA’s proposal “is substantively the same” as the one put forth in 2014, which was rejected, receiving 8% of the vote. The board is urging shareholders to vote against the latest proposal.
“Range has been a pioneer for implementing a variety of best-in-class practices and technologies to reduce and eliminate potential emissions, including methane,” the company said in its proxy statement. “The proposal to set reduction targets for measured emissions that are only a fraction of 1% of the company’s production is an attempt to impose standards that the company has already effectively addressed.”
Shareholders at other exploration and production companies have pushed for more transparent methane reporting over the years. UUA noted that some of Range’s peers already publicly disclose their methane emissions management efforts.