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Olympia votes to divest fossil fuel stocks

Olympia votes to divest fossil fuel stocks

The Convention of the Diocese of Olympia voted last week to divest within five years all of its holdings in the world’s top fossil fuel companies.

If embraced by the diocese’s board of directors, the convention resolution means the diocese will sell its ExxonMobil and Chevron stocks, which represent $2.3 million, or 4.1 percent, of the Diocesan Investment Fund. The resolution addresses direct holdings, not the mutual and exchange-traded funds that may hold fossil fuel companies.

The resolution, passed on a fairly close vote, is rooted in fossil fuels’ contributions to climate change. It evokes the 1980s church divestment campaigns that helped begin dismantling the apartheid regime in South Africa.

“The scientific consensus is overwhelmingly clear that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, primarily sourced from the burning of fossil fuels, causes climate change,” the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment said in a statement explaining the resolution.

“Without a swift, concerted global shift away from the burning of fossil fuels, the effects of climate change will displace and impoverish hundreds of millions of people in the coming century and condemn many species to extinction,” it added.


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Adam Spencer

I’m from Ohio and my wife is from an area where fracking is being hotly contested. She knows people who work in in the industry. We’re pretty solidly skeptical and worried about the whole enterprise. But is it really that simple? I’m sure for a great many non-fuel-company-execs, fracking is an economic lifesaver in regions long bereft of their traditional industries (coal, steel, etc.) When you’re working class and needing to support your family, it is about something more than just a money grab, I think.

Richard III

Ann, only time will tell and by then we may come to regret the decisions made today about fracking being our energy salvation/solution. In my opinion it’s more about exploiting the low hanging fruit, so to speak, to make quick buck and worry about the consequences later, a typically American way of looking for an easy solution to a complex problem.

Richard Warren

Ann Fontaine

Probably Richard – but fracking will probably cause suffering in Ohio first.

Richard III

A similar resolution was put forward at the recently concluded convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, respectively debated and resoundingly defeated. Maybe the difference was that many people on southern Ohio make a living in the fossil fuel industry and see this as a threat to their livelihoods and in the Diocese of Olympia not so much.

Richard Warren

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