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Bill Attacking Fossil Fuel Investments by Public Employee Retirement Funds is Defeated

For the second time in as many years, a bill designed to block pension funds in California from investing in fossil fuel interests failed passage in the legislature.

Senate Bill 252 (SB 252) by Sen. Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat from Long Beach, would have prohibited the boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System from making new investments or renewing existing investments of public employee retirement funds in a fossil fuel company.

The bill would have also required the boards to liquidate investments in a fossil fuel company on or before July 1, 2031, despite the potential harmful impact selling the interests would have on the pension funds. As the leadership of California presses forward with an “oil shutdown agenda,” lawmakers who are controlled by powerful and well-funded extremist environmental groups continue to invent new ways to harm the industry and its more than 55,000 workers.

SB 252 was not about making law to benefit public employees and their collective retirement returns but was born out of blind and scientifically hollow hatred for oil producers. Lawmakers conveniently forget that some company somewhere is going to profit from providing the state with the 1.8 billion barrels of oil it needs to function each day. Demand remains as high as ever even though some lawmakers talk daily about a “transition” off fossil fuels that is not happening.

Demand for crude oil and natural gas remains high because without them, families, business, law enforcement, firefighters, hospitals, -- and the list goes on -- cannot function without both refined crude oil and natural gas.

California’s independent producers will continue to fight against the “oil shutdown agenda” in the legislature. As for SB 252, both fossil fuel companies and public employees can breathe a sigh of relief that this measure is done, for now.

For more information, contact Sean Wallentine.


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