by Benjamin Zycher, Real Clear Markets
Stanford University. The University of Glasgow. The Educational Foundation of America. The British Medical Association. The City of Seattle, Washington. The Rockefeller Brothers (!) Fund. Amid the tolling of church bells and the thunderous self-applause of the environmental left, the fossil-fuel divestment bandwagon is on a roll. In addition to those listed above, 175 institutions, local governments, and individuals, with a total of over $50 billion in assets, as of last month have pledged to “divest” their holdings in the 200 oil, gas, and coal producers with the greatest “carbon” content of their reported reserves.
“Divest” is a curious term; a simpler verb is “sell,” and it is a source of some interest that the divesting institutions and individuals are pledging to do so within three to five years. Why not just give the assets away immediately on a first-come/first-serve basis? The obvious answer is that those divesting—selling—the fossil-fuel assets prefer to get the highest prices that they can, an objective not obviously consistent with the purported moral imperative underlying a shift out of fossil fuels and toward the “new energy economy,” about which more below. Read the entire story.