Friday, May 16, 2014

Pension Dropped from Demand of UC Fossil Fuel Divestment Proponents

You may have seen the headline in the LA Times:
Gov. Brown says UC divestment from coal is a possibility*
So one might guess that the Regents will eventually go the way of Stanford and drop coal investments.  But drop them from what?

Scroll down in the article and it appears that proponents have dropped any demand that the pension fund be included in the divestment.

"Activists are not targeting UC's retirement fund because of opposition it might engender from those receiving pensions."

So regardless of whether the proponents will go for a just-coal deal, as at Stanford, or insist on all fossil fuels - the pension fund investment pool is not to be touched. That's important because we have enough problems with pension funding without the pension being seen as available to be used for political objectives.

[Let's hope no one notices the natural gas powered generating plant in the midst of the UCLA campus if the demand remains for all fossil fuels and not just coal.] 

PS: A Stanford prof suggests an alternative for Stanford, also in the LA Times 

PPS: You won't find a lot of coal miners in California.  But oil production is significant in the state.  Jerry Brown is not proposing any oil taxes in the current election year.  But his Prop 30 tax increases are temporary.  And when they expire, the idea of an oil production tax will grow in importance, including in the governor's mind.  Indeed, environmentalists are already complaining that Brown is soft on fracking.    

No comments: