News & Actions

CalPERS tiptoes into engagement with coal companies

By Janet Cox | October 19, 2015

At their first meeting since the Governor signed SB185 requiring CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from coal stocks, the public pension fund’s Investment Committee heard a consultant report on 1) the prohibitive transaction costs of divestment, and 2) all the money the fund ($293 billion and counting) might have had the Board not instructed staff to divest from South…

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The Arctic is safer today

By Robert Silvey | October 16, 2015

Here’s some very good news for the planet—and for Alaska—though not for Shell. The Guardian reports that the US government is canceling some offshore leases and imposing stricter conditions on Arctic drilling. As a result, Shell and other oil companies are unlikely to pursue further exploration in that part of the world. The Guardian: Barack Obama…

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Divest ExxonMobil first! (Why wait???)

By Janet Cox | October 15, 2015

Here’s Bill McKibben protesting at a local gas station in Vermont — calling attention to the growing scandal around Exxon Mobil. Recent reporting reveals that climate studies commissioned by ExxonMobil in the early 1980s could have changed the course of human events — if Exxon hadn’t used them for internal profit-related purposes while publicly continuing…

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Al Gore's convenient truths about investing (updated)

By Robert Silvey | October 15, 2015

Atlantic editor James Fallows recently interviewed Al Gore about his decade-long project to test his ideas about green investing. Fallows calls it “an audacious attempt to show that a ‘sustainably’ minded investment strategy could make more money than one simply focused on profit-maximization.” Gore might have been tempted to call the project yet more inconvenient truths, as a…

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Paris commitments not enough (6.3°F)

By Robert Silvey | October 13, 2015

Leading up to the Paris climate talks in December, India has now submitted to the UN its plan for curbing carbon emissions. As of this week, almost every nation has announced what it’s prepared to do to keep the rise in global warming 2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Why is…

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Rooftop solar is under attack

By Robert Silvey | October 12, 2015

The solar-energy industry has been an engine of growth for California over the last decade, and now the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) want to boost their profits by throttling back that engine. Of course, the rapid expansion of solar power has been an environmental boon as well—and the IOUs’ latest rate proposals, if enacted, will ensure…

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Don't let Congress lift the oil export ban

By Janet Cox | October 9, 2015

As oil prices “tank” (ahem) due to oversupply (thanks fracking!), the divestment movement chugs along, inflating the carbon bubble. This is all bad news for Big Oil. Feeling the pinch, the oil companies have come up with a brilliant idea for restoring lost revenue: Get the Congress (which it happens to own) to repeal the crude…

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Brown signs SB 185: Divest coal!

By Robert Silvey | October 8, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 185 today. Our two state pension funds are now required to purge their portfolios of that most pernicious of fossil fuels, coal. It’s time to celebrate! The enactment of SB 185 is an enormous step forward for the divestment movement—in fact, for the entire climate movement—because CalSTRS and CalPERS are the largest state…

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Rebel with a cause: Jerry Brown and the climate

By Robert Silvey | October 7, 2015

It may be a stretch to continue calling Jerry Brown a rebel after all these years, but today he did revisit James Dean’s old haunt, the Griffith Observatory—and he shook up the fossil fuel establishment. Brown signed into law a landmark piece of climate legislation, Senate Bill 350, and California is now a bit further along the path…

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Shell games in Alaska

By Robert Silvey | October 6, 2015

In Alaska, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news first: last week Royal Dutch Shell shut down its drilling rig in the Chukchi Sea and gave up its immediate dream of a great Arctic oil bonanza. After seven billion dollars of failed investment in a single dry well, Shell has now followed the lead…

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