Many of us spend time and resources trying to do what is best to fight global warming and its climate change consequences. It is only consistent, then, that we should not use banks that invest in and offer loans to fossil fuel extraction projects. By the same token, states such as Oregon that are trying to reduce emissions should not invest their accumulated funds in promoting fossil fuel extraction. The claim by the Oregon Investment Council that it has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize investment interest belies a level of ignorance and amorality that is difficult to comprehend. First – the argument assumes that investing in fossil fuels makes sound financial sense. However, (a) it is obvious that these corporation are on a collision course with future required behavior and legislated regulations , and (b) it presupposes that investing in renewable energy is less financially rewarding, and (c) it ignores that (a) above will result in these corporations suffering billions of dollars of ‘stranded assets’ that will become a worthless financial anchor.
Efforts are underway to persuade OIC to divest from fossil fuels:
Opinion: Oregon must disclose and divest from fossil fuels
Khanh Pham, Paul Holvey and Jeff Golden, The Oregonian, December 8 2021
ham represents House District 46-Southeast Portland, Holvey represents House District 8-Eugene and Golden represents Senate District 3- Ashland in the Oregon Legislature.
As legislators in Oregon’s environmental caucus, we know our state must take bold climate action now.
When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, there are already plenty of reasons for Oregonians to take pride in our state. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed three clean energy bills focused on energy affordability and climate-smart housing. In 2018, Portland also passed the first municipal clean energy fund in the United States.