United Methodist Church General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Evanston, Ill., joined three other investors in co-sponsoring a shareholder resolution seeking to stop Xcel Energy Inc. from buying power from Manitoba Hydro, which is in a dispute over the impact of dams on the Pimicikamak Cree Nation. The investors say continued purchases of such power "make our company increasingly vulnerable to charges of environmental racism, potentially costly litigation and a negative public image all of which can jeopardize long-term shareholder value.
The $11 billion UMC fund board holds 54,205 shares of Xcel.
The resolution states the Cree and other indigenous peoples face an "ecological and moral catastrophe because of hydroelectric development.
The Xcel board opposes the measure. "We have encouraged Manitoba Hydro to resolve its dispute with the Pimicikamak Cree Nation as soon as possible, but this is a dispute between the Pimicikamak Cree and Manitoba Hydro, Canada and the Province of Manitoba, according to a board statement. "They are the ones who must resolve it, not Xcel Energy or its shareholders.