Daily Archives: October 15, 2010

Sheila McNulty

Occidental Petroleum’s move this week to address corporate governance issues raised by shareholders is the way many investors would like their companies to react. While history has shown that numerous companies simply ignore issues raised by shareholders (and maybe that is what they should do), Occidental decided its investors had some valid points.

All in one day, the company established a seccession plan with Steve Chazen, president and chief operating officer, set to become chief executive at the May 2011 annual shareholders meeting. It ended the exemptions for those past the retirement age of 75 on the board, leading two directors to say they would step down at that same meeting.

In addition, Occidental responded to calls for new faces on the board by immedately appointing Howard Atkins, chief financial officer of Wells Fargo. And, perhaps most importantly for shareholders, it approved a new compensation programme that brings executive pay down to the levels of those in the company’s peer group.

Kiran Stacey

For climate change activists, a new Yale study entitled Americans’ knowledge of climate change might make the heart sink. Their worst fears appear to have been met with the results showing that 52 per cent of over 2000 Americans surveyed scored below 60 per cent on the knowledge test, earning them a lowly F grade.

Sure enough, the media response was scathing. 52 per cent of Americans flunk Climate 101, said the NYT’s Green blog. Large gaps found in public understanding of climate change, said the Science Daily.

But the headlines are a little unfair, not least because the questions were technical, and aimed at testing how detailed the public’s understanding of climate issues was (so not really ‘Climate 101′ then). For example, how many people would you expect to know that water vapour is an important part of the greenhouse effect? Or that “The last 10,000 years have been unusually warm and stable, compared to the climate of the past million years.”

FT Energy Source

- Opec leaves production levels unchanged – FT

- Opec members seek $100-a-barrel oil – Bloomberg

- Global oil production still going sideways – Early Warning

- Essar plans $2bn Nigeria investment – FT

- Sirius raises £15.7m to fund Nigerian oil field – The Telegraph

- Lukoil to drill offshore Ghana – Argus

- Occidental overhauls pay structure – FT

- Green energy opportunities return after dismal year – Reuters

- Electric cars pose riddle for EPA – New York Times

- Rajendra Pachauri to stay as IPCC pledges reforms – The Guardian

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