Orange County Register Op-ed: “AB 20 Would Worsen California’s Public Pension Crisis”

AB 20, the controversial bill designed to pressure CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest of funds of companies involved in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), received more bad press today. The  Orange County Register published an op-ed calling the legislation “problematic” and highlighting the negative effect of divestment on the state’s pension funds.

Economist Dr. Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute stressed what the effects of increasing the pension shortfall would be:

Without properly accounting for risk,

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Pittsburgh to Lose Nearly Half a Million Dollars a Year if Pension Funds Are Forced to Divest

As a part of the response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued an executive order that called upon the municipal pension funds to be divested from fossil fuels by 2030. This week, experts announced just how much they estimated the city could stand to lose from such a move, and announced the amount to be $500,000 annually.

The researchers also noted that the losses that Pittsburgh would suffer would have only symbolic effect … Read More

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Seattle Throws Pensioners Under the Bus to Attract Attention

Seattle has long been an outspoken advocate for various causes and the environment is no exception. After the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord, many cities and states, along with Seattle, reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement.

Recently the Seattle City Council passed a resolution committing the city to uphold the Paris Accord. However, one of the recommendations in the resolution was the divestment from energy companies of the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS), the municipal pension system of … Read More

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Coalition Members Urge San Francisco Retirement Board to “Put the Needs of SF Retirees First”

With the members of San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System set to meet to discuss, among other issues, the topic of divestment, members of Protect our Pensions took to the pages of the San Francisco Examiner to urge the board to consider the negative consequences to pensioners that such a decision would cause.

Carlos Solorzano, the CEO of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco and Yolanda Hudson, a pensioner and a retired science teacher from Detroit, made the case … Read More

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Latest Developments with Divestment: California, San Francisco, and New York

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity from divestment advocates across the country.

In California, the state Assembly passed AB 20, which is designed to pressure the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to divest from the already operational Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If successful, the bill would affect $4 billion worth of assets in CalPERS alone. Both pension funds have opposed the measure, with CalPERS stating that “there … Read More

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Pittsburgh Mayor Endangers Pensions to Make a Point

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord, several local and state public officials have come forth with pledges to keep their states and cities in compliance with the treaty. While it is certainly their prerogative to do so, it is troubling that some of these announcements include talks of divestment, which does nothing to help the climate and whose only discernible effect is to hurt pensioners.

One of these leaders is … Read More

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Protect our Pensions Calls on California Assembly to Reject AB 20

Protect our Pensions sent a letter to all 80 members of the California Assembly this morning, urging lawmakers to reject Assembly Bill 20, legislation that pressures the California state pension funds to divest of their energy holdings.   Please see the following letter to the state Assembly Members:

Dear State Assembly Member,

On behalf of our members in the State of California, we urge you to oppose Assembly Bill 20, which would require filing annual disclosures of the carbon footprint of

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California Pensioners Urge Lawmakers to Reject Harmful Divestment Measure

Today, thirteen members of Protect our Pensions from California submitted a letter to the lawmakers of the California Assembly Committee on Appropriations, urging them not to resuscitate Assembly Bill 20, which was intended to divest public employee retirement systems from their investments with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Assembly lawmakers have since put the bill on hold after some amendments, but its passage is still possible.

The letter highlighted the widespread opposition to the bill:

Since its introduction, this bill

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Protect our Pensions Urges Montgomery County Pension Board to Ignore Non- Binding Divestment Resolution

Recently the Montgomery County Council decided to put ideology above smart investing principles and vote for a resolution calling for the divestment of the county pension fund. The resolution vote follows a failed attempt to force the board to divest at the end of last year.

Protect our Pensions opposed the original bill and also opposed the resolution, stating:

Given that the original bill was deemed simultaneously dangerous to the county’s pension funds and ineffective in its broader purpose,

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Montgomery County Firefighters: Reject Divestment Resolution

Jeffrey Buddle, President of Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 1664, which represents around 1,500 firefighters in Maryland, wrote a strongly worded letter to members of the Montgomery County Council, asking them to reject a divestment resolution, which calls on county pension funds to sell off traditional energy stocks in order to make a political statement.

Asking the critical question, “what purpose does the resolution actually serve?” Mr. Buddle pointed out that the resolution would have no … Read More

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