(COMMON DREAMS) Jon Queally, January 7, 2016 — Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was given a “huge ovation” on Thursday after calling on fellow lawmakers to fully divest the state’s pension funds from ExxonMobil as well as the coal industry.
Shumlin, a Democrat, made the call during his annual State of the State address before the Vermont legislature in Montpelier in which he specifically cited recent revelations about Exxon’s concealment, since the 1970’s, of what it knew about how carbon emissions fuel global warming.
“Today is a great win for the thousands of Vermonters who have joined this fight, and it will give us new vigor to keep pushing on many fronts.” —Bill McKibben, 350.org
“Vermont should not wait to rid ourselves of ExxonMobil stock,” Shumlin declared. “It has been clearly documented that since the 1980’s, ExxonMobil’s own scientists have long known about the dangers of global warming, and chose to conceal that from the public. At the same time that they were building their oil rigs taller to account for rising sea levels, they were funding front groups of scientists to deny climate change is real. This is a page right out of Big Tobacco, which for decades denied the health risks of their product as they were killing people. Owning ExxonMobil stock is not a business Vermont should be in.”