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Caldwell Dominicans Pressure for Change
Exxon Mobil rejects push toward alternative energy

Pat Daly
Pat Daly, OP
DALLAS -- June 4, 2007---In a high stakes struggle between Stanford University and the corporate giant Exxon Mobil, the university is caught squarely in the middle of “a major proxy battle between a group of New Jersey nuns and the world's largest privately owned oil company”. 

The “New Jersey nuns” are the Caldwell Dominican Sisters.  The university, which has been heavily criticized for taking up to $100 million from Exxon Mobil for climate and energy research, was ready to “vote in favor of the nuns' proposal that the oil giant immediately reduce its greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming.” The vote would fall in line with the university's policy to support proxy resolutions addressing climate change.

Exxon Mobil officials are steadfastly against the proposal, and they urged their shareholders to vote against it. Why? Among the reasons the company gives in its proxy statement: its close relationship with Stanford.  Environmentalists are commending Stanford for flexing its shareholder muscle to support the greenhouse gas emissions proposal drafted by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell noting that the environmentally-conscious nuns generate their own solar energy on their Motherhouse grounds. Their proposal, backed by 41 other co-filers, calls for Exxon Mobil to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from the company's products and operations - and come up with a plan on how to do it by Sept. 30, 2007. 

Sister Patricia Daly, OP, a representative of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ, which submitted the greenhouse gas proposal, told Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson that Exxon Mobil can be a major player in addressing climate change, which she called a "moral problem" in addition to an economic issue. "When Exxon Mobil takes something on, they're very successful at it," Sister Pat said. 

However, at the May 30, 2007 meeting, shareholders voted down proposals requiring greenhouse cuts and renewable energy.  This vote keeps the world's largest oil company focused on fossil fuels, rejecting proposals to set targets for greenhouse-gas emissions cuts and to move aggressively into alternative energy. Exxon has cut emissions at its operations but has declined to set targets for reductions.  The company also hasn't adopted a stance on whether Congress should impose mandatory nationwide caps on emissions.

ConocoPhillips and the U.S. divisions of Royal Dutch Shell and BP are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of corporations and environmental groups that is pushing Congress to mandate cutting 60 percent to 80 percent of emissions by 2050.  Other members include Alcoa, DuPont, Caterpillar, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Resources Defense Council.

Peggy Ryan, OP (Caldwell)

Solar Panels Cut Carbon Footprint

Caldwell Dominicans Walk the Talk of Reducing Harmful Emissions

CALDWELL, NJ -- June 4, 2007-- It’s more than one year now and 648 solar panels continue to provide electricity for the Sisters of St. Dominic on their Motherhouse grounds.   The Sisters installed the array of solar panels in March 2006 on their property in Caldwell as a way to cut down on their dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the harmful emissions they produce. 

Since then the solar panels have produced 62,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.  This clean energy system has eliminated the release of approximately 83,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere and has reduced the burning of 105,400 pounds of coal.

The Sisters installed these panels as a way of living out their commitment to the sacredness of all creation and as an educational model for others.  They are now in the process of installing a monitoring system which can be used for classroom instruction.

This installation was made possible by a solar rebate from the state of New Jersey, the assistance of Sun Farm Network and Green Faith, an Interfaith Environmental Coalition.  For more information, contact Sister Jeanne Goyette, OP at


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