The California State Assembly passed a bill this week causing all state public employee pension funds to divest from coal, reported ThinkProgress. This bill is a huge blow to destructive coal companies that get rich from destroying the environment.
In a landslide 43 to 27 vote, the state Assembly voted that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) must remove all holdings from companies that receive at least 50 percent of its revenue from coal mining. Collectively, CalPERS and CalSTRS are responsible for $476 billion in assets.
“Coal is losing value quickly and investing in coal is a losing proposition for our retirees; it’s a nuisance to public health; and it’s inconsistent with our values as a state on the forefront of efforts to address global climate change,” said California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who introduced the bill. “California’s utilities are phasing out coal, and it’s time our pension funds did the same.”
The bill is now on its way to California Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk, who is expected to sign it. Brown has been on the forefront of California’s fight for the environment. If consistent, small steps like this bill will eventually equal great strides in the fight against climate change.