Help us pass our local option bill

Help us pass our local option bill

Tom Sanzillo and Alex Jovanovic speak at a hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Service

Tom Sanzillo, of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and Alex Jovanovic, of Trillium Asset Management Corp, explain to the Joint Committee on Public Service why it's essential to pass our local option fossil fuel divestment bill.

Posted by MassDivest Coalition on Sunday, November 24, 2019

Tom Sanzillo and Alex Jovanovic speak at a hearing before
the Joint Committee on Public Service

There is a huge amount of momentum building around our local option divestment bill, H.3662/S.636! In November, we had a hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Service in which financial experts, college divestment advocates, public officials and more testified about why it’s crucial to divest from the fossil fuel industry and why our bill is necessary.

When the city of Somerville tried to move some of the money in its pension fund out of fossil fuel investments in 2017, it was told by its state oversight board that it couldn’t, without following a request for proposals process. When it tried to follow that process, Somerville was then told that it couldn’t divest from fossil fuels without legislative authorization.

This bill, H.3662/S.636, provides that authorization. It doesn’t demand that independent retirement systems divest, but it overcomes the regulatory confusion that has locked cities like Somerville into the declining fossil fuel industry. That regulatory block has cost members of Somerville’s retirement system hundreds of thousands of dollars in opportunity costs.

As our co-filer, Rep. Dylan Fernandes, said at the hearing, Massachusetts is set to spend billions of dollars over the next decade mitigating the effects of climate, so why are we still funding the corporations that are causing the problem? This bill is needed now to help get the money of Massachusetts taxpayers out of the fossil fuel industry.

And you can help us get it passed! Contact your state representative and ask them to send a letter to the Joint Committee on Public Service asking them to pass the local option divestment bill favorably out of committee. Is your lawmaker on the committee? Ask them to urge the committee chairs to recommend the bill.

Want to send in your comments to the committee? Great! Email them to
Garrett Beaulieu, Legal Counsel for the Joint Committee on Public Service, at Garrett.Beaulieu@mahouse.gov. Be sure to cc our political director, Randi Mail, at randi@massdivest.org.

Together we can make a difference and pull hundreds of millions of dollars out of the fossil fuel industry!