Stanford Tells Tom Steyer To Shove It By Refusing To Divest Fossil Fuels

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer suffered a crushing defeat Monday when his own college refused to purge its oil assets.

Stanford University’s decision to stay married to oil and fossil fuels comes the same day the Steyer pledged to donate $25 million to propagandize global warming election day issues on college campuses.

Steyer is a member of Stanford’s Board of Trustees.

Stanford buried the decision to reject divestment in a press statement underneath several paragraphs highlighting the university’s determination to quell so-called man-made global warming.

The Board of Trustees established an Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL) to help the board determine whether to sell off oil assets. APIRL is composed of faculty members, college students, alumni and staff.

The group concluded, “That it could not evaluate whether the social injury caused by the fossil fuel industry outweighs the social benefit it provides,” so it advised the school not to jettison fuel assets. The board agreed with APIRL’s position.

“Despite the progress being made,” the board said about the need to create alternatives to the fossil fuel industry, “at the present moment oil and gas remain integral components of the global economy, essential to the daily lives of billions of people in both developed and emerging economies.”

The fact that there are oil and gas companies working to develop alternative energy sources played in to the decision not to divest. The other aspect that instructed the board’s decision was the extent to which oil and other fossil fuel resources play in the global economy.

Simon Lomax, an energy policy analyst at Independence Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation Stanford’s decision shows how out of touch the fossil free crusaders are as it concerns the consequences of divestment.

“When environmental activists like Steyer and McKibben are rejected by their own schools, it shows you just how fringe the fossil-fuel divestment campaign really is, and how badly the campaign is failing,” Lomax. “I feel bad for the students and university administrators whose time is being wasted by this political stunt.”

Steyer’s NextGen Climate super PAC said Monday it plans to deploy its resources across hundreds of college campuses to get youngsters out to vote for candidates who push renewable energy policies.

“We are determined that they will be a difference maker,” Steyer, a hedge fund manager who began his career at Goldman Sachs in the 1980s, told reporters during a press conference. “We need to make sure to carry on that momentum until November.”

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