To: Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and City Council Members

City of Santa Barbara: Support Fossil Fuel Divestment!

We want the Mayor and City Council Members of Santa Barbara to publicly and proudly state that the city of Santa Barbara 1) has no direct investments in the fossil fuel industry, 2) will not invest in this industry in the future, 3) applauds both the UCSB and SBCC student bodies for voting to divest any and all institutional monies from fossil fuel companies, 4) applauds the UCSB Faculty Legislature for also voting to divest all fossil fuel investment monies, and 5) encourages other institutions in Santa Barbara, the birthplace of the environmental movement, to divest any and all investments and endowments in the fossil fuel industry.

Additionally, since the City of Santa Barbara receives LAIF State Treasury investment returns from ExxonMobil Corporation and Chevron Corporation, we would like the mayor to request that the State divest all and any monies it has invested in these corporations and any other fossil fuel companies. [1]

Why is this important?

Whereas, the most conservative scientific consensus says that a 2 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures must be prevented , which means we cannot burn more than 565 gigatons within the next 50 years [1a] [2],

Whereas, the fossil fuel industry has 2,795 gigatons in its reserves in the form of oil, coal and natural gas [2],

Whereas, if these companies were to carry out their plans in the name of their shareholders, this would cause catastrophic and extremely dangerous climate change [2a],

Whereas, instead of attempting to reduce emissions, fossil fuel companies are investing in exploration and enhanced extraction techniques that are increasing reserves and accelerating emissions, and that this constitutes a “carbon bubble.” [2]

Whereas, non-conventional extraction techniques could also result in dangerous local pollution impacts such as fugitive methane emissions [3], water contamination [3a] and increased seismic activity and earthquakes according to both the U.S. Army and U.S. Geological Survey [3b],

Whereas, the Koch Brothers have spent over $67 million since 1997 to fund climate denial front groups and ExxonMobil has hired the same tobacco industry public relations personnel who created misinformation about the health effects of cigarette smoking to spread doubt and confusion about climate change [4][5],

Whereas, the Natural Gas Industry has been using military psychological warfare tactics and personnel on U.S. communities since at least 2009 in order to confuse and misinform local communities about the dangers of natural gas extraction techniques [6],

Whereas, Santa Barbara is the birthplace of the environmental movement in the United States [7],

Whereas, the City Charter explicitly states that no company may explore and extract hydrocarbon fuel sources within city limits,

Whereas, there are hundreds of fossil fuel divestment initiatives gaining momentum across universities, cities, churches and other institutions across the United States [8],

Whereas, the student Senates of both UCSB and SBCC voted in a clear majority for fossil fuel divestment this year,

Whereas, the following letter signed by 49 UCSB faculty was delivered to the mayor of Santa Barbara on May 14, 2013 [9],

Whereas, on May 30 2013, the University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Legislature voted in favor of the divestment resolution,

We, the signees of this petition, believe that if it is wrong to wreck the climate, it is wrong to profit from that wreckage. We have a moral responsibility to find out where our monies are tied into these companies, and to remove that money as quickly as possible.

[1] For the full list of companies the California State Treasury invests in see http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/pmia-laif/investments/bonds.pdf

[1a] http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/cop15/eng/11a01.pdf page 5

[2] http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/08/Unburnable-Carbon-Full1.pdf page 4 page 4

[2a] http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/20.full.pdf+html

[3] http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/news/attachments/Howarth-EtAl-2011.pdf

[3a] http://www.propublica.org/article/scientific-study-links-flammable-drinking-water-to-fracking

[3b] http://www.nasdaq.com/article/us-government-confirms-link-between-earthquakes-and-hydraulic-fracturing-cm101994

[4] http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/

[5] http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html

[6] http://www.desmogblog.com/gas-fracking-industry-using-military-psychological-warfare-tactics-and-personnel-u-s-communities

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Santa_Barbara_oil_spill

[8] www.gofossilfree.org

[9] http://www.noozhawk.com/article/060513_letter_to_editor_ucsb_support_fossil_fuel_divestment

Santa Barbara, CA

Category


Reasons for signing

  • We are all morally obligated to take some kind of action, now.

Updates

2017-05-16 14:11:02 -0400

50 signatures reached

2015-10-15 21:11:15 -0400

25 signatures reached

2014-05-11 14:06:00 -0400

10 signatures reached