Monthly Archives: March 2017

Rhode Island Union Leader: Providence Bank Divestment Proposal a “Real Bad Ordinance”

Over the last few months, we have seen a fringe group of activists push cities to divest their holdings from banks involved with the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several cities in California have divested their holdings based on certain officials’ ideological opposition to the project, although these cities would lose taxpayer money in the process. However, in Providence, Rhode Island, labor and business leaders finally came together to voice their opposition to using city finances as a vehicle to make political … Read More

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D.C. Considers Ending Relationship with Wells Fargo Over Lawfully Approved Pipeline

During a March 21st Council of the District of Columbia meeting, Councilmember David Grosso introduced a non-binding resolution urging the city to reassess its existing relationship with Wells Fargo and consider full divestment. Why? Grosso cited a number of different reasons for the review, but most notably, he said the bank’s status as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline project make it unfit to handle the city’s finances.

This should come as no surprise to those familiar with Washington, … Read More

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University of California System Opts for Symbolic Gestures Instead of Real Leadership

The University of California system recently announced their decision to divest $150 million from traditional energy investments. While it is certainly a feel-good measure, this move will only hurt future students and do nothing to address the environmental footprint of the university system.

The actions of the UC system are largely symbolic, especially when compared to initiatives undertaken by other California institutions, like Stanford University. In 2016, Stanford’s Board of Trustees carefully examined whether divestment made sense, and concluded that … Read More

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Berkshire Hathaway Board Rejects Calls to Divest Stock Holdings

The Berkshire Hathaway company, headed by the Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha,” has rejected calls by one of its stockholders to divest the company of fossil fuels, urging stockholders to vote against the measure at the scheduled annual meeting in May.

In a regulatory filing submitted to the SEC on Friday, the Board of Directors pointed out that the traditional energy holdings that the company does hold stock in conforms to the highest safety standards, and voluntarily complies with … Read More

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Misguided Gestures: Using Divestment to Advance a Politicized Agenda

It is no secret that the state of Illinois and city of Chicago are in a tough spot financially. The state pension system is woefully underfunded, and Illinois cannot find the funds to pay the $9.1 billion in interest payments on the amount it already owes for pensions. Millions of retirees covered under these pensions are under threat of losing the benefits for which they worked so hard. This unfortunate development is happening while Chicago struggles to pay its teachers … Read More

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ICYMI: LA Times Editorial Board: Diverting Pensions “Will Hurt Californians”

The Los Angeles Times editorial board took a strong stand against Assembly Bill 20, divestment legislation filed by freshman Assemblyman Ash Kalra, which the board described as “ill-considered” and “attention-getting.” Under the broad and overreaching bill, the state’s two largest employee pension funds, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), would be required to divest from companies involved in constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The newspaper’s editorial board is not alone in this judgement. … Read More

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