Friday, November 16

UC reduces investment in oil companies linked to Dakota Access pipeline


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Jagdeep Bachhar, the University of California's Chief Investment Officer (center), announced the reduced investments in Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics at the March UC Regents meeting. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Jagdeep Bachhar, the University of California's Chief Investment Officer (center), announced the reduced investments in Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics at the March UC Regents meeting. (Daily Bruin file photo)



Correction: The original version of this article misquoted Nicolas Monteiro.

The University of California has reduced its investments in two oil companies with ties to the Dakota Access pipeline.

UC spokesperson Claire Doan said in an email that the University has reduced investments in Energy Transfer Partners Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. and other fossil fuel companies as part of its broader investment strategy, which follows principles outlined in the UC’s sustainable investment framework.

Jagdeep Bachher, UC’s chief investment officer and vice president of investments, announced the gradual investment reductions in ETP and Sunoco Logistics at the March 14 meeting of the UC Regents Investments Subcommittee.

Bachher said though UC had held as much as $50 million in ETP, it has gradually reduced its shares and now invests about $19 million.

“The Office of the Chief Investment Officer always seeks to consider sustainable investing as part of its broader strategic decision making,” Doan added.

The UC adopted its sustainable investment framework in September 2014 and has since reduced its investments in fossil fuels by about $350 million. The UC sold about $200 million in investments in coal and oil sand-focused companies in September 2015.

[Related: UC sells $200M worth of investments in coal, oil sands]

Students have called for the UC to divest from fossil fuel companies since 2014.

The UC Student Association passed a resolution at its March 4 meeting calling for divestment from ETP, Sunoco Logistics and banks with investments in ETP.

TerrillJames Iron-Moccasin Kapalehua, author of the resolution and a student at UC San Diego, said they think the reduced investments are a step in the right direction, but the UC should take further action.

“We are not only asking that the direct investments in ETP and Sunoco be removed but also the indirect ones through ETP’s partnered banks,” Kapalehua said.

Kapalehua said the resolution also critiques both institutions that the UC is connected to through its investments. They added they think the UC’s investments in ETP and Sunoco Logistics implicate the University in the actions of Dakota Access pipeline builders, such as security personnel trying to evict protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Nicolas Monteiro, a member of UCSA involved in drafting the resolution and a student at UC San Diego, said he thinks the UC should not invest money in companies which displace people and remove or steal land.

“These investments are inherently linked to everything happening at the border and with police brutality, and (the investments are) directly linked to different forms of oppression that the state imposes on black and brown bodies,” Monteiro said.

Bachhar said he foresees the UC will move out of the rest of its investments in ETP and Sunoco Logistics in the near future.

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