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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:06 AM

Seattle Mayor Calls For Divesting City Pension Funds From Fossil Fuels

"In the last month, groups on 192 university and college campuses have organized campaigns to pull their schools’ endowments out of the fossil fuel industry. One small school, Unity College, has already committed to divesting from coal, oil, and gas. At Harvard, a school with the country’s largest endowment, 72 percent of students voted in favor of divesting from fossil fuels. Although Harvard officials balked, a group of student activists has kept the pressure on.

There’s another big piece of news on the divestment front this week. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is now calling on his city to strip fossil fuels from its two main pension funds. According to the city’s finance director, Seattle has $17.6 million invested in Chevron and ExxonMobil, as well as smaller investments in other oil and gas companies. Mayor McGinn sent a letter to the city’s pension fund managers on Friday calling for them to move their money elsewhere:

To the members of the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System Board:

I write to you today to ask that you refrain from future investments in fossil fuel companies and begin the process of divesting our pension portfolio from those companies. I recognize that this process will require a thorough evaluation of the portfolio’s performance, assets, and investment strategies. City staff stand ready to assist you in this work...


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