No Fracking Way

Posted on November 8, 2011
Filed Under Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Green Investing, Investment Related, Shareholder Activism, Socially Responsible Investing

By Shane G. Johnston & Judith L. Seid, CFP®

As Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in his The New York Times column yesterday, Here Comes the Sun, fracking involves significant costs to the environment that are not currently being regulated. Exploring how environmentally conscious shareholders can influence this reality, Blue Summit Wealth Management President, Judy Seid attended No Fracking Way, a fundraiser for the non-profit shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow.

Since 1992, As You Sow has used shareholder advocacy and the financial markets to catalyze positive change within publicly held companies. The event was held at a loft overlooking Venice Beach, CA where attendees were joined by Josh Fox, the director and producer of the movie Gasland via Skype projected onto the wall. Now that was sooo Hollywood! 

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

Josh discussed the fact that hydraulic fracking is inadequately regulated due to a loophole known as the “Halliburton Loophole”  in the ‘05 Energy Bill that exempts gas drillers from EPA guidelines like the Clean Water Act. 

Josh emphasized that fracking impacts our environmental safety by emitting Nitrogen Oxide & volatile organic compounds as surface smog, expending enormous amounts of H2O, injecting chemicals into the earth’s crust to frack the wells, and polluting the nearby groundwater, among other harmful consequences.

We also learned about The Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), the newest project of As You Sow.  RSN addresses human rights violations and environmental destruction in the supply chains of consumer products and at the raw commodity level. RSN provides a constructive space and collaborative structure for companies, investors, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to share best practices and take coordinated action. RSN supports network participants in leveraging their influence to achieve significant and measurable reductions in environmental degradation and human rights abuses, while seeking to spur responsible economic development and moving companies towards greater environmental sustainability and social equity.

Blue Summit Wealth Management works in cooperation with As You Sow to help investor portfolios have a greater positive impact towards creating a better tomorrow.  In addition, an event is being organized in San Diego to spur conversations about joining efforts with local organizations to effect local  impact.

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