, University of Maryland-College Park, College Park, MD
In just three months, St. Louis, the hometown of five coal companies could also be home to the divestment movement’s next big victory. St. Louis is also my hometown, and for over a year now, I’ve been working on the citywide divestment campaign, called Take Back St. Louis. The Take Back St. Louis initiative will change the city charter to end incentives to fossil fuel companies and instead invest money in and open city-owned land for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.
When I started at the University of Maryland this past semester I joined the campaign to divest my university from fossil fuels as well. I am part of the fossil fuel divestment movement because divestment is an important tactic to make the fossil fuel industry’s public reputation as toxic as their business practices. Once doing business with the fossil fuel industry is seen as morally unconscionable it’s unlikely the industry will be able to continue buying off enough public officials to keep itself in existence.
Many of us have found out through divestment campaigns just how engrained the fossil fuel industry is on our campuses. Despite overwhelming support among students, university presidents and administrations have resisted our demands, caving to the power of fossil fuels.
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