Pension Fund Pressures Oneok to Report on Greenhouse Gases

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System is pressing natural gas pipeline company Oneok to report on its greenhouse gas emissions through shareowner Proposal 8, scheduled for a vote at the May 15 annual meeting.
CalSTRS, which owns more than 1.94 million shares, is asking the other approximately 105,000 Oneok shareholders to support its call for reporting on the feasibility of setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report would be submitted to shareholders by Dec. 31.
Oneok is the largest natural gas pipeline company in the Western U.S.
“As a shareholder, we believe it is in our mutual interests for Oneok to take the necessary first step in addressing the issue of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jack Ehnes CalSTRS CEO. “The business risks from climate change are very real and are confronting us today, so taking this step is vital, because protecting the environment means protecting the bottom line.”
Utility companies such as Oneok lead all business sectors in the production of greenhouse gases, accounting for 25 percent of total emissions worldwide. The “Electric Utilities Report,” published in 2006 by the Carbon Disclosure Project and funded jointly by CalSTRS and CalPERS, found that the true value of utilities was significantly reduced when environmental risks were factored into the valuation.

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