Monthly Archives: April 2017

California Political Leader: Water Infrastructure Should be Top Environmental Concern, Not Divestment

In an op-ed published in the California Political Review, Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker  raised awareness of the fact that in the debate over divestment, other  far more urgent and consequential environmental issues have not received as much scrutiny, even though they should.

Highlighting the fact that there is no consensus around the idea that divestment would actually address environmental challenges, Whitaker cited both CalPERS and Stanford University’s opposition to divestment. CalPERS’ officials called divestment “an ineffective strategy for achieving … Read More

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Montgomery County Should Stop the Divestment Charade

In an effort to save face, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner has amended a long-debated divestment bill to be a resolution encouraging divestment.

In its original form, the bill faced considerable opposition from a variety of groups.  The Montgomery County Retired Employees Association (MCREA), which represents more than 6,000 retired County workers, submitted comments in December opposing the bill stating that “divestment offers symbolic rather than genuine impact on climate change given the complexity of fossil fuel investments.” … Read More

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Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial: CA Legislature Should Reject Divestment Bills

The editorial board of The Press Democrat, of Santa Rosa, California, came out against a trio of divestment bills currently under review by the California State Legislature. The board strongly objected to pensions being used as “a tool for making political statements,” a fact that has been “lost on (…) some state lawmakers.”

At the heart of the editorial board’s argument was the idea that shortfalls in earnings will have to be borne by California’s taxpayers:

The pension funds

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CalPERS Unanimously Votes Against Divestment, Opts for Constructive Engagement

Just as anticipated, the investment committee of the largest public pensions system in the United States formally voted to reject the policy of divestment, opting in favor of using constructive engagement with the companies that the $310 billion fund is invested in.

The new policy boldly dismisses the tactic of divestment, which has been proven to be both ineffective against the targeted companies and damaging to the long-term health of portfolios attempting such a practice. The new policy adopted by … Read More

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CalPERS Set to Vote Against Politically-Motivated Divestment Efforts, Reaffirm Sensible Investing

According to publicly available sources, the nation’s largest state employee pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), is ready to reaffirm its commitment to responsible investing, and approve a “fundwide policy” to oppose divestment, according to E&E News.

CalPERS has worked hard to uphold its reputation as a responsible investor, and the new policy will uphold and name corporate engagement as the “preferred approach”.  As CalPERS Chief Operating Investment Officer Wylie Tollette stated last week when speaking … Read More

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San Francisco Business Leader: Politicians should “Respect the Evidence” & “Reject Divestment” Proposal

In an op-ed published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Carlos Solorzano, the CEO of The Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco, pushed back against divestment bill AB 20, making the case that the legislation will be harmful to businesses in San Francisco and across the state.

Solorzano argued that forcing the $310 billion fund to divest from energy stocks would create shortfalls and that “taxpayers will have to pick up for the tab to meet promised pensions that the … Read More

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Portland, Oregon Takes Divestment to Extreme, Ignores Multi-Million Dollar Losses to Taxpayers

Last week, the Portland, Oregon City Council took the logic (or illogic) of investing based on political ideology to its conclusion and voted to divest the city’s investment of all corporations. The move was brought about after protests from a loud but vocal minority. From now on, the city’s portfolio will be invested in “federal bonds and other non-corporate options.”

Interestingly enough, the proponents of the proposal themselves admit that the divestment decision comes with a massive cost. The new … Read More

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A View from the Bay State – Harvard Newspaper Denounces Divestment

Responding to the attempts to promote divestment on the campus of Harvard University, the editorial board of The Crimson came out with a rebuke of the merits of divestment, asserting that divestment is the wrong tactic to focus on in the fight for a better environment.

The editorial board made several compelling points:

1. Divestment does not actually hurt energy companies: Several pro-divestment advocates have tried to convince the general public that if enough pension funds and endowments sell of … Read More

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