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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Skulldugggery  (Read 4330 times)

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AGelbert

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    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Fossil Fuel Skulldugggery
« Reply #150 on: April 26, 2018, 08:19:23 pm »
 
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April 26, 2018



Who’s 😈 🦕 🦖 Behind The Institute for Pension Fund Integrity?

Yesterday, Oil Change International’s Andy Rowell wrote about a mysterious new group advocating against pension divestment (h/t DeSmog). Rowell sorts through the few clues available on the group to connect the dots about who’s behind the campaign--and, unsurprisingly, his findings display a pattern all too familiar to those familiar with fossil-fueled front groups.

Rowell’s search was instigated by a piece in the trade publication Institutional Investor last week (headline: “New Pensions Group Says Forget About Climate Change”), which reported on a new report by the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity (IPFI). The purpose of this group, Institutional Investor explains, is to counter the divestment campaign that’s been fairly successfully calling on pensions to take their money out of fossil fuel companies, and instead have them focus only on returns.

The IPFI report’s author is Christopher Burnham, a former UN undersecretary and Connecticut state treasurer. Compared to the obvious oil shills that usually run these sorts of programs, Burnham’s resume looks almost credible. Of course, he also served as the chairman of a PR company, Cambridge Global Advisors and asan “energy investment banker,” according to Rowell--but neither of these positions offer an obvious red flag.

More concerning than Burnham’s background is that contact information listed on the group’s website changed earlier this month, from pointing to Burnham to directing users to contact Fred Wollenberg of the advertising company Bergman Group. Bergman doesn’t seem to be too tightly linked to the oil industry (though the group does produce daily illustrations for the American Enterprise Institute’s 🦖 magazines).

Wollenberg himself, however, has worked with Exxon as well as DCI group, an organization whose astroturfing Bloomberg has exposed. While Rowell stresses that these links could just be a coincidence, it’s worth remembering DCI is also the group that ran the fake news blog TechCentral Station back before fake news was cool, and funded an amateur-looking Al Gore climate attack ad.

Rowell points to a recent Bloomberg story about how DCI registered the website for a different anti-divestment campaign, Protect our Pensions. Perhaps that’s just a coincidence, too.  ;)

So is Wollenberg the man in the middle, working on behalf of DCI and its funders to set up this other group seeking to protect pensions from divestment? Someone should certainly try and shine a light on the situation.

There’s little reason to insist on investing in fossil fuels, even if you believe an investor’s only concern should be returns. Because for years now, it is increasingly true that divested portfolios will out-perform their dirty competitors, in part because good environmental and social governance practices prove profitable.

So if divesting isn’t going to reduce returns, what excuse could IPFI possibly have for defending fossil fuels? If it’s just that they’re funded by the industry, well then that’s no different than a pencil-maker advocating for pen-shuns.

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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