Student groups at 192 colleges and universities are calling on their schools’ endowments to sell off stocks in fossil-fuel companies, inspired by a350.org campaign that we’ve reported on before. Now that campaign is spreading from campus to city hall, asClimate Progress reports:
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.
McGinn is the first municipal leader to get on board with 350′s campaign. As the mayor explains on his blog, he doesn’t control the investment of pension funds, but he and his staff want to work with the city council and the pension board to help move toward divestment.
McGinn, a local Sierra Club leader before he was elected mayor in 2009, has also recently criticized proposals to send coal trains through Seattle to ports on Washington’s coast. He’s commissioning a study on the potential economic impacts of the trains and coal-export plans. “I’m not sure very many jobs are being created in Seattle, compared to impacts,” he said earlier this month. MORE