Malick calls for fossil fuel divestment following revelation of NYS conflict of interests
August 1, 2018
Vicky Fuller, Chief Investment Officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a/k/a the State Pension Fund, has just stepped down from that post to accept an appointment as a Director of the Williams Corporation.
This case reflects the broken pay-to-play culture of Albany and highlights why the practice of the revolving door between public officials and private industry must be halted.
The Williams Corporation is a major developer of fracked-gas infrastructure projects, in particular pipelines. The State Pension Fund has invested an estimated amount of $160,000,000 in the Williams Corporation*.
Numerous environmental organizations have called countless times over the last several years for New York State to divest from fossil fuels in the Pension Fund, to no avail. Fuller’s career shift makes it obvious that she has been blocking these efforts, and as a highly ranked state officer, this news calls the entire Cuomo administration’s true position on the environment into question.
With all the work I have done over the last seven years on the environment and government corruption, this unconscionable situation comes as no surprise. It indicates how deeply embedded the fossil fuel industry has become with the State of New York, despite Governor Cuomo’s ban on HVHF drilling in 2014, a non legislative ban which could be reversed by the stroke of a pen.
I call upon the State administration to begin divesting from fossil fuels immediately. As State Senator, I will work hard to see to it fossil fuel divestment proceeds for the health and well being of our citizens and environment, not to mention the state’s financial health. The days are numbered for the fossil fuel industries. It is fiscally responsible to divest sooner rather than later.
I also call upon the interim Attorney General Barbara Underwood to begin an immediate investigation into this apparent conflict of interest.
Under the Cuomo administration NYS has expanded both its use of fracked-gas and the infrastructure that necessitates. Fossil fuel companies externalize all the costs while extracting all the profits. When I win this seat I will make sure that we deploy an energy policy that gives our children a chance at a future. They deserve better than this scorched earth legacy