Mass. Environmentalists, Religious Leaders, Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment

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Massachusetts is front and center in a growing environmental movement to divest from fossil fuels. Local environmentalists, religious leaders — and some Massachusetts lawmakers — are urging institutional investors, like state pension funds, university endowments and churches to shed their investments in oil, gas and coal — all of which contribute to global warming.

Across the nation, 10 small colleges, 22 cities and 19 foundations have joined the divestment movement — in which Massachusetts's cities and towns, colleges and churches are now involved. And a proposed state Senate bill would pull some $1.3 billion dollars' worth of fossil fuel investments out of the state pension fund, making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to divest.

Activists are borrowing a tactic from the anti-Apartheid divestment movement of the 1980s, which targeted the racist policies of the white South African government. But can a fossil fuel divestment campaign work — and does it make sense?


Sue Reid, director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation.

Steve Dodge, associate director of the Massachusetts Petroleum Council, the local branch of the American Petroleum Institute.

Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, minister and president of the Massachusetts Conference for the United Church Of Christ. He tweets at @JimAntal.


WBUR: Mass. Emerges As Hub Of Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

  • "Environmentalists, borrowing some tactics from the anti-Apartheid divestment movement of the 1980s, are pressing universities, foundations and public pension funds across the country to pull their money out of oil, gas and coal."

This segment aired on March 17, 2014.


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