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Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:23 PM

O'Malley supports eliminating investment in fossil fuels.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley said Wednesday he supports college fossil fuel divestment campaigns.

The former Maryland governor has made fighting climate change one of the centerpieces of his campaign. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the only other Democratic presidential candidate who has announced support for divestment campaigns.

When asked by a student at University of Colorado if he supports divestment campaigns taking place at campuses around the country, O'Malley said, "Yes. Yeah, I'm for that."

O'Malley was in Boulder on the same day as the third Republican presidential primary debate.

Divestment campaigns typically take place on college campuses, with activists aiming to get their schools to withdraw their investments in the fossil fuel industry. The campaigns are meant to send a message that investing in gas and coal companies is a risky move.

However, academics and industry observers have said divestment campaigns are ineffective and can actually go against what the activists are trying to do, which is decarbonize the economy. Divestment rarely hurts oil companies and can remove climate-conscious investors from shareholders meetings.

Anti-fossil fuels group 350, which has been active against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, pointed out that Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' presidential front-runner, has been silent on divestment campaigns. The group also pointed out Clinton has not responded to calls to not accept donations from the fossil fuel industry, which Sanders and O'Malley have done.


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