California’s largest oil producer, which cleared Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier this year, has gained national recognition for its decarbonization efforts just as its CEO Todd Stevens, 53, is leaving.


Under the global environmental disclosure system administered by the non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), California Resources Corp. (CRC) has received an “A-” rating for its 2020 climate disclosure, which CRC spokesperson Richard Venn described as a “top score at CDP’s leadership level.

“CRC once again received the highest ranking among all U.S. oil and gas companies,” Venn said, tying for the top spot with another U.S.-based exploration and production (E&P) company with global operations.

After reaching the CDP leadership level for the past two years, CRC has shown its value as a “dedicated and dependable energy producer for Californians,” said Venn, adding that the exploration and production company’s 2030 sustainability goals are aligned with state goals. 

CDP supports thousands of companies, cities, states and regions in measuring and managing their risks and opportunities on climate change, water security and deforestation at the request of investors, purchasers and city stakeholders. The scoring measures the comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness and management of environmental risks and best practices associated with environmental leadership, such as setting ambitious and meaningful targets.

Stevens said the ranking underscores CRC’s strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, and the dedication of its workforce to “safely, responsibly and sustainably meet California’s energy demand while abiding by the high standards Californians expect.

“Our 2030 Sustainability Goals and ESG principles are a strategic differentiator among Global and North American energy producers, and we look forward to advancing our industry-leading sustainability projects that we believe are integral to achieving California’s climate goals under the Paris Climate Accord.”

Stevens is leaving CRC at the end of the year, according to an 8K filing by CRC to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Executive board chairman Mark McFarland is set to become interim CEO while the board conducts a search for Stevens’ replacement. Stevens spent more than 20 years with Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy) and another six years heading CRC after it was spun off in 2014 by Oxy.

CRC filed for Chapter 11 last July and emerged with a reorganized balance sheet and new stock in early November. For 3Q2020, CRC reported a $29 million loss (minus $2.20/share), compared with net income of $94 million ($1.89) for the same period in 2019.