Accountability-Central Featured Commentator: How Big a Disaster Does It Take For a Natural Gas Company Executive to Get Fired?

May 19, 2011 5:42 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) New York, NY - May 19, 2011 - In a commentary published on Accountability-Central (, by Governance & Accountability Institute (, featured commentator Michael P. Benard wonders -- set against this season of annual meetings and quarterly investor calls -- when is it time for the corporate governance movement and investors to ask: What does it take for an executive at a natural gas company to get fired?

Benard writes that the landscape is littered with serial explosions and environmental disasters related to natural gas drilling and pipeline operations. Do any executives or board members “own” any responsibility for this? is there accountability?

Benard advises that CBS News last month reported at least 6,500 spills, leaks, fires or explosions nationwide at wells and pipelines in the year 2010 alone. He comments that more and persistent reports from scientists warn that modern drilling techniques pose significant chemical and biological hazards to human health and the environment. 

Despite the rise of all too many “incidents” and hazards, commentator Benard observes that the gas industry stump speech touts safety, accountability and transparency. 

Shareholders focused on Corporate Governance issues and CG risks need to press for the answer to the question, “How many environmental, health and safety disasters does it take before an executive – or board member – is held accountable?”

For Benard’s complete column on natural gas company executives and responsibility, please log on here.

Mike Benard is a property owner in Pennsylvania and a former gas lease owner; and he is founder of Spectra Energy Watch, a property rights blog that deals with the energy industry. Link:  

Michael P. Benard, contributes timely and powerful commentary to Accountability-Central, the Institute’s public access Web site, as its “fracking” commentator in his column, “Voices From the Shale.”

Mr. Benard’s initial commentaries may be accessed here

A top line briefing on fracking from Accountability-Central editors may be accessed:  Fracking Topline

Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. - Navigating the way to sustainability...
Governance & Accountability Institute provides critical information, knowledge management, strategic counsel and advisory services to corporate leaders and investors related to Sustainability| ESG, Corporate Responsibility (CR), and Responsible and Sustainable Investment (SRI). 
SustainabilityHQTM - Our knowledge. Your opportunity. 
Formerly INSIGHTS-edge, SustainabilityHQTM is a subscription-based, Web-accessed platform created and managed by G&A Institute that provides organization profiles and tracks the actions of capital market players  /  investors, reputation influencers and key stakeholders focused on Sustainability | ESG corporate performance indicators.
Accountability-CentralTM - For leaders in the era of responsibility & accountability...
Accountability-CentralTM, published by G&A Institute, is a publicly-available Web-accessed global information platform for news, updates, opinion & commentary, and research resources focused on Sustainability | ESG issues and topics. (ESG=environmental & energy, social issues and corporate governance factors.)