Guest NOT! by David Middleton
At last, divestment is hitting the fossil fuel industry where it hurts
Trillions of dollars of investments are being taken out of carbon-intensive companies. Governments must now take notice
Sun 16 Dec 2018
I remember well the first institution to announce it was divesting from fossil fuel. It was 2012 and I was on the second week of a gruelling tour across the US trying to spark a movement. Our roadshow had been playing to packed houses down the west coast, and we’d crossed the continent to Portland, Maine. As a raucous crowd jammed the biggest theatre in town, a physicist named Stephen Mulkey took the mic. He was at the time president of the tiny Unity College in the state’s rural interior, and he announced that over the weekend its trustees had voted to sell their shares in coal, oil and gas companies. “The time is long overdue for all investors to take a hard look at the consequences of supporting an industry that persists in destructive practices,” he said.
Six years later, we have marked the 1,000th divestment in what has become by far the largest anti-corporate campaign of its kind. The latest to sell their shares – major French and Australian pension funds, and Brandeis University in Massachusetts – bring the total size of portfolios and endowments in the campaign to just under $8 trillion (£6.4tn).
Note to Mr. Bill: Institutions with $8 trillion under management selling their investments in the “fossil fuel industry” does not constitute $8 trillion “being taken out of carbon-intensive companies.” These “investors” could only sell their investments if there were buyers willing to purchase them.
Let’s just look at one part of the “climate wrecking industry”…
Robust Near-Term Outlook for Oil & Gas US Integrated Industry
Zacks Equity Research November 26, 2018
The Zacks Oil and Gas U.S. Integrated industry comprises stocks having exposure to upstream, midstream and downstream energy businesses mostly in the domestic market.
Upstream activities involve exploration and production of oil and natural gas, while transportation of extracted commodities from wellhead to storage and processing terminals constitutes midstream operations. Through downstream businesses, the integrated energy firms refine raw crude before distributing the end products like gasoline to retail petrol pumps.
With exposure to every facet of energy operations, the integrated firms are relatively immune to volatility in oil and gas prices and hence could reward investors with stable cash flows.
Industry Outperforms S&P 500 & Sector
The Zacks Oil and Gas U.S. Integrated industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Oil – Energy Sector as well as the Zacks S&P 500 composite over the past year.
Oil & Gas-US Integrated has taken a beating lately along with the rest of the market; but it has outperformed both the S&P 500 and Oil-Energy (which includes solar) over the past year… despite a steep drop in oil prices.
There is no lack of investment capital for the fossil fuel industry because… REALITY EXISTS.
As long as there is a demand for fossil fuels, there will be investors.
So BIll… maybe you should stick to writing about things that fall within your area of competency.