By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 5 -- ConocoPhillips confirmed that it has dropped out of Arctic Power, a lobbying group based in Anchorage that promotes opening part of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas leasing.
"We have not been involved in the ANWR debate in many years and have focused our investment attention in Alaska toward the gas pipeline and development of other North Slope satellite fields," a ConocoPhillips spokeswoman said. "Since ANWR is currently closed to development, we feel that any resolution or pledge on our part would be moot."
ConocoPhillips decided against renewing its membership in Arctic Power in mid-year 2004, she said. BP PLC dropped out of Arctic Power in November 2002. ExxonMobil Corp. remains an Arctic Power member.
A coalition called US Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG), Washington, DC, since 1998 has targeted oil companies that expressed an interest in ANWR if drilling were to be permitted there.
Athan Manuel, director of US PIRG Wilderness Campaign, said he hopes Congress will defeat any attempt to allow drilling in ANWR.
"It appears that ConocoPhillips and BP are more enlightened than the Bush administration when it comes to drilling in the arctic refuge. Hopefully, Congress will get the message," Manuel said.
Meanwhile, Green Century Capital Management Inc. of Boston said it will withdraw a shareholder resolution that it had filed last month with ConocoPhillips regarding ANWR.
A mutual fund manager, Green Century previously filed an arctic refuge shareholder resolution that received more than 9% of the ConocoPhillips shareholder vote in May 2004.