Principles of Environmental Justice
ConocoPhillips believes the primary purpose of environmental justice policy should be to create and maintain inclusive, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships among stakeholders. We are focused on sustainably meeting energy demand, while creating lasting value for the communities in which we operate, our shareholders and our employees. The company is committed to respectfully engaging with local stakeholders to understand their unique values and interests. We seek to integrate their input into our plans and operations, reduce the impact of our operations and contribute to meaningful economic development. The company works to balance factors such as surface constraints, access, proximity to existing pipelines, distance from communities and occupied structures, topography, and environmental restrictions, and works to eliminate or mitigate potential impacts when locating operations.
We recognize that vulnerable communities may be at greater risk from the impacts of industrial activities. In alignment with the EPA Office of Environmental Justice, we believe all people – regardless of race, color, national origin, or income – should be treated fairly with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
The principles below guide ConocoPhillips in evaluating regulatory and legislative proposals addressing environmental justice. An environmental justice policy should:
- Provide access and equal opportunities for low-income, minority, and Indigenous stakeholders to participate in the governmental decision-making process.
- Promote collaboration with community members, government entities, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, medical institutions, and other affected stakeholders as appropriate to address any environmental, economic, and social concerns. This collaboration should be based on ANSI/API Bulletin 100-3, “Community Engagement Guidelines.”
- Assess the effects of oil and gas operations on communities, including a comprehensive evaluation of their positive contributions such as the availability of energy to those communities, along with mitigation options to reduce the risks these operations may pose to economic, social, and environmental conditions.
- Recognize and not supersede past voluntary collaboration efforts by oil and gas operators that meet or exceed any new environmental justice policy standards.
- Apply consistently across national, provincial, state, and local governments, and not result in duplicative or conflicting assessments and reviews.
- Be administered efficiently and not result in avoidable delays in permitting or other development processes.
- Protect private property rights.
- Recognize the history of oil and gas development in the local area and how changes in local zoning regulations over time may create new proximity considerations that did not exist when facilities were originally permitted.
- Recognize that each community is unique and that government policies should provide flexibility for how operator-community relationships are created and sustained.