Readers React
Readers React

Divestment is a start in the battle against Big Oil

To the editor: Given her family connection to oil wealth, Neva Rockefeller Goodwin makes a good case for divestment. ("A Rockefeller explains: Why I lost faith in Exxon Mobil, and donated my shares," Opinion, Feb. 15)

She identifies half of the market solution to end our reliance on fossil fuels. Oil and gas reserves still in the ground must stay there, and it is fraudulent for Exxon Mobil and other dirty energy companies to show them as assets on their balance sheets. Investors should beware and redirect their capital to sustainable energy.

Goodwin, an economist, knows the other side of the equation: putting a price on carbon. We must combine greater investment in clean energy with a price on dirty energy, and action on both fronts is underway.

Some oil companies and executives are facing greater scrutiny for defrauding investors, and there is a new, bipartisan (yes!) Climate Solutions Caucus in the House to consider carbon pricing combined with tax credits.

Katheryn Venturelli, Pasadena

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To the editor: The Sept. 21, 2014 climate march in New York has more than 300,000 participants. It was followed by an announcement of a pledge to divest about $50 billion in fossil fuel holdings and to reinvest in sustainable energy programs.

This was coordinated by a group that has become known as Divest-Invest. The initial pledge — an effort of 67 foundations, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals — made quite an impact on the global warming movement.

This was probably the most prudent, economically sound step this group could have taken. From a purely economic point of view, most of the fossil fuel now underground will sooner or later become “sunk costs.” From a health and environmental view, this divestment is truly win-win.

Since 2014, divestment pledges have grown to more than $3.4 trillion. This was a brilliant idea.

Sally White, Valencia 

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