Divestment email 12/27/13

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Hearing for LD 1461: An Act to Require the State to Divest
2:00 p.m.; Thursday, January 9, 2014
Room 228, Maine State House
Augusta, Maine

On January 9, 2014, the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 1461, which divests fossil fuel stocks from the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. The hearing will begin at 2:00 p.m. in Room 228 of the State Capitol Building. 350 Maine needs your support!

Oil, gas and coal companies have already accumulated five times the reserves of carbon energy necessary to heat the planet beyond the recognized 2° Celsius limit that world governments and scientists recognize as the upper allowable limit. They have fixed the political system to prevent enactment of any meaningful controls on their business.

Divestment was a successful strategy for isolating the apartheid regime of South Africa. It can do the same to the rogue fossil fuel industry. We must deny them the social license to destroy the planet.

By stigmatizing the fossil fuel industry we make it possible to move forward on legislation that will force the fossil fuel companies to end their indiscriminate emission of greenhouse gases that trigger climate change. Divesting a portfolio of fossil fuel stocks can also lead to new, increased investment in alternative energy sources and further erode the need for fossil fuel. We know we can move beyond fossil fuel and can do it now. Finally, a divestment campaign creates uncertainty in the financial markets and further increases the risk of holding on to fossil fuel stocks.

How YOU can help

As a member of 350 Maine, you know there is no secure future for the climate if we continue use of fossil fuels. You may have signed our petition. Now, please help us make sure that the Maine legislature knows how strong your commitment to this divestment campaign is.

  • In the next two weeks please plan to contact your state representatives and senators to tell them you support LD 1461. If they agree with you, encourage them to testify. If they are non-committal, let them know you will be watching to see what they do.
  • Additionally, contact members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and let them know how important this bill is to you and the people of Maine.
  • On January 9, plan to come to the hearing prepared to share your personal story with the committee on why ending the political and economic power of the fossil fuel companies is so important.
  • Let us know how you plan to help by filling out this form.

Here are five talking points for starting a conversation on why divestment is important for Maine:

  1. Divestment gets our investments in line with our values.
  2. Divestment reduces corporate influence on energy policy.
  3. Divestment strengthens the climate movement.
  4. Divestment reduces investment exposure to potentially overvalued fossil fuel securities.
  5. Divestment allows MainePERS to reinvest in the solutions.

If you need help developing any of these themes, our divestment team stands ready to assist you!

Hearing for LD 1461: An Act to Require the State to Divest
2:00 p.m.; Thursday, January 9, 2014
Room 228, Maine State House
Augusta, Maine

January 9 is also the date for the Alliance for the Common Good’s Rally of Unity at the State House (at 1:00 p.m.). You should be able to participate in the rally and testify on LD 1461--a good use of the carbon you’ll expend getting to Augusta! For ride-sharing assistance, 350 Maine has a self-managed car-pooling board.

350 Maine is building a mass movement to end the tyranny of the fossil-fuel industry and YOU are an important part of our movement. Thank you! Please let our divestment team know you will be able to stand before the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee to speak the truth of divestment to power.

As Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Nothing Is Impossible,
Read Brugger, Freedom, read@350Maine.org
Karen Marydaughter, Monroe, karenmd@myfairpoint.net.
for Team 350 Maine