Elizabeth Pines: Profiles of Key Groups and Organizations

Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national trade association that represents oil and gas companies whose mission is to ensure “a strong, viable domestic oil and natural gas industry, recognizing that an adequate and secure supply of energy is essential to the national economy” (https://www.ipaa.org/about/). IPAA releases educational information and reports regarding industry statistics, employment, and government relations. Similarly to the American Petroleum Institute, one of the largest purposes of the IPAA is to represent oil and gas companies in the political process through lobbying. IPAA can be contacted through their office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 857-4722.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC has become increasingly involved in fracking processes from the perspective of ensuring companies are fully disclosing relevant information to investors. The SEC has been asking for companies to disclose chemicals used in fracking, although it is difficult to tell at this time how transparent this disclosure will be to the public. Additionally, the SEC has regulatory authority to set and enforce accounting standards, many of which greatly impact oil and gas companies’ quarterly and annual earnings reports to shareholders. The Regional Director for the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is Sharon Binger. Her phone number is (215) 597-3100 and her email is philadelphia@sec.gov.

As You Sow

As You Sow is a shareholder advocacy group that promotes environmental and corporate social responsibility. The organization works with corporations on a number of environmental and social efforts, including reducing energy consumption during production, reducing water contamination, and sourcing raw material responsibly. Its Hydraulic Fracturing initiative seeks to reduce the financial and environmental impacts of fracking. In 2014, they released a report called “Disclosing the Facts: Transparency and Risk in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations” (http://disclosingthefacts.org/), which grades and ranks 30 companies on their disclosures of environmental and community impacts to shareholders. As You Sow has been at the forefront of the movement to increase corporate transparency to shareholders and its efforts have been realized most recently by ExxonMobil, which has agreed to increase disclosures to investors. The Operations Manager for As You Sow is Betsy McMahon. Her phone number is (510) 735-8155 and her email is bmcmahon@asyousow.org.

Common Cause: Deep Drilling Deep Pockets Reports

Common Cause is a nonpartisan organization that strives to maximize citizen participation on politics and government. Common Cause calls itself a “citizen’s lobby” (Common Cause, Issues) and works to strengthen voting rights, decrease money in politics, and increase ethical standards in government. Its “Deep Drilling Deep Pockets” series provide an in-depth report of campaign contributions and lobbying at the state level by both pro-fracking and anti-fracking interest groups. These reports have highlighted data in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania, and track the millions of dollars from corporations influencing politics. Common Cause can be contacted at CauseNet@commoncause.org, or at their office in Washington D.C. at (202) 833-1200.