The Massachusetts Legislature held its first hearing this week on a bill directing the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, to divest companies that produce, distribute and support fossil fuels.
The bill, sponsored by Massachusetts State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, would require MassPRIM to unload some $1.4 billion in investments, or about 2.6% of the $54.4 billion pension fund, in oil companies, mining companies, refiners and similar corporations over five years.
“We invest against ourselves … when our pension fund invests well over $1.4 billion in state assets in companies whose profitability requires the continuance of that very dependence,” Mr. Downing said in written testimony submitted in support of the bill to the Public Service Committee on Tuesday.
Michael G. Trotsky, MassPRIM executive director, said in a letter to legislators Tuesday that a requirement to divest from fossil fuels would add a “significant administrative and operational burden and cost.”