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  • Featured petition

    Show your support for LD 99

    Maine Educators - Your Retirement is Losing Money with MainePERS Fossil Fuel Holdings. Sign here to urge MainePERS to Divest from Fossil Fuels!

    157 signatures

    Did you know that MainePERS’ fossil fuels investments cost the system $260 million last year, or roughly $2,600 for each of the ~100,000 PERS participants?

    Did you know that the $133 million that MainePERS directly lost on fossil fuel investments last year could have funded a $215,000 solar array on every one of the 617 public schools in Maine?

    If you are an educator or public employee, please also take a minute to fill out this short form!

    Maine Public Employee Retirement System, or MainePERS, suffered tremendous losses on their fossil fuel investments last year. This can be seen in testimony submitted by MainePERS to the Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee on LD 99, An Act To Require the State To Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry.

    Sierra Club Maine Vice Chair, David Gibson, identified more than $1 billion in fossil fuel investments, and estimated the impacts that had on the MainePERS portfolio over the past decade. In his testimony for LD 99, he also identified environmentally positive investments that MainePERS could make instead of propping up the fossil fuel industry, which is the leading cause of climate change globally. MainePERS has submitted supplemental testimony that confirms the Sierra Club’s estimates and shows their fossil fuel investments dropped from $1.410 billion to $1.277 billion, losing $133 million in just the past year.

    If these fossil fuel holdings had been divested a year ago and achieved the same 9.17% return as the other MainePERS investments, they would have gained $129 million instead of losing $133 million. Together, this equates to a $262 million net cost to the Maine Retirement system for continuing to invest in fossil fuels over the past year.

    Fossil fuel investments have been losing value for years, a decline that has worsened with shifts to renewable energy and the pandemic. The S&P 500 Energy Sector (composed entirely of fossil fuel stocks) had lost 16% from 2011 to the end of 2019, while the remainder of the S&P 500 gained 150% over the same period. Over the 8 year period prior to the pandemic and recession, MainePERS had directly lost hundreds of millions of dollars on their fossil fuel investments, but more importantly they missed out on over $1 billion in gains that were achieved by the rest of the market. Fossil fuels have been a terrible investment, and have already cost MainePERS members dearly.

    MainePERS’ continued investments in fossil fuels runs counter to the Governor’s Climate Council’s Maine Climate Action Plan. Instead, these funds could be invested into climate solutions like energy efficiency and clean energy, and would achieve greater returns for PERS members in the process.

    As said in testimony by Maine Youth for Climate Justice, “the bottom line is that fossil fuels are not a safe investment for Maine, not safe for future generations, and not safe for the public employees relying upon this pension fund to support them as they age. 

    Show your support for LD 99- An Act To Require The State To Divest Itself Of Assets In The Fossil Fuel Industry, currently in our Legislature, by signing here and sharing with your networks and friends. Doing so will be an act of support for Maine’s youth, frontline communities, and public employees’ pensions.

    If you are an educator or public employee, please also take a minute to fill out this short form!

    Will you sign?

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