ONEOK Inc. shareholders today voted against a proposal filed by $164 billion California State Teachers Retirement System, Sacramento, seeking a report on the feasibility of setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the companys operations. The results of the vote, which took place at the Tulsa-based companys annual meeting, were 59% against, 33% for, and 8% abstained. The proposal called for the report to be completed by Dec. 31.
ONEOK officials had opposed the proposal. We spend a good deal of time and money to improve our operational and environmental performance, which, in turn, results in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, CEO John W. Gibson said at the meeting today, in a statement provided by the company.
He added that ONEOK believes the resources required to prepare a feasibility report could better be used to advance other initiatives that we know will result in lower emissions and improved operations.
CalSTRS claimed the 33% vote for the proposal as a success. This level of support underscores the growing importance that environmental performance is playing on corporate bottom lines, CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes said in a statement today. As a long-term shareowner, CalSTRS wants to see ONEOK succeed and one way to achieve that is to address climate risks, which are increasingly impacting companies prospects for continued profitability.
CalSTRS owns about 2% of ONEOK stock, according to the statement. Calvert Asset Management co-sponsored the proposal. RiskMetrics Group and Proxy Governance Inc. encouraged shareholders to support the resolution in the days leading up to the annual meeting. Egan-Jones Proxy Services recommended shareholders vote against the proposal.