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Investigation Shows Yale Isn’t The Climate-Conscious Investor It Claims To Be

By in Huffington Post on May 16, 2017

By Chris D’Angelo

Yale University touts itself as a socially and environmentally responsible investor and has been celebrated for taking steps to distance its financial portfolio from certain fossil fuels. But it remains heavily invested in oil and gas — to the tune of several hundred million dollars ― according to an investigation by its own employees and students.

UNITE HERE Local 33, a union of graduate employees, and Fossil Free Yale, a student group pushing for the Ivy League school to divest completely from the oil and gas industry, confronted the university with their findings in a Tuesday letter to Yale’s chief investment officer, David Swensen.

Their analysis of Yale’s $25 billion in endowment investments show that at the same time the university has been publicly positioning itself as a leader in climate-conscience investing, it was profiting off the fossil fuel industry, Elias Estabrook, a spokesperson for Fossil Free Yale, told HuffPost.

Local 33 and Fossil Free Yale said that since Swensen in 2014 urged the university’s investment partners to consider climate change in future financial decisions, Yale has continued to hold numerous investments related to energy extraction.

In June 2016, for example, Yale held $230 million worth of stock in Antero Resources Corporation, a Denver-based oil and gas company with extensive hydraulic fracturing operations, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. And as recently as June 2015, the university had around $110 million invested with ARC Financial Corp., a major Canadian private equity management company that specifically focuses on energy, according to Yale’s latest available tax filing.

The Connecticut university also had $53.7 million invested in Merit Energy Company, a privately held oil and gas producer, according to the company’s latest tax filing. […]    

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