Climate activists continue to look for every opportunity to push for the failed policy of fossil fuel divestment, and it appears a global pandemic won’t stop those efforts.
The New York City Council introduced a resolution calling for banks and insurance companies with which the city does business to divest from oil and gas companies. This was lauded by groups like 350.org at a time when New York had become the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.
An opinion piece published in the Times Union expressed “anger” at state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli because he stands firm against divestment as a costly, ineffective gesture. The fact of the matter is that DiNapoli wants to maintain independence in carrying out his fiduciary duty and does not want political whims to dictate where he can and can’t allocate funds.
Divestment is an extremely costly and complicated process, imposing new costs for funds while losing out on the opportunity to invest in the energy companies driving our world forward. There is a reason New York has ignored and rejected divestment time and again: While costing the state immensely in transaction and management fees and taking wide swaths of companies off the table for investment, the move does nothing to help the environment or address climate change. Let’s leave financial decisions to the experts, not political activists.
Independent Petroleum Association of America
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