“Unfortunately, Harvard has failed to pay their obligations, and this bill is attempting to address that problem”
This article notes that Harvard is being singled out even though other big name schools are invested in fossil fuels. There’s a simple explanation for that. If they pull this off with Harvard, other schools will fall in line.
Campus Reform reports:
MA state lawmakers introduce bill compelling Harvard to ditch fossil fuels
Massachusetts state lawmakers Erika Uyterhoeven (D-MA) and Mike Connolly (D-MA) introduced HD4016, which aims to make Harvard University divest from fossil fuels.
“No governing body of Harvard college [sic] shall directly or indirectly invest of the funds of the college, by holding stock, security, equity, asset or other obligation of a corporation or company, in an entity that produces fossil fuels, including coal, coke, distillate oil, residual oil, used oil fuel or natural or manufactured gas,” the bill reads.
Harvard is the only university mentioned in the legislation, despite the fact that other prominent Massachusetts schools — including Amherst College and Boston College — presently hold investments related to fossil fuels.
Connolly told Campus Reform that Harvard “was originally established by an act of the colonial legislature in 1642, and when the Massachusetts state constitution was written and adopted in 1780, it explicitly specified that the state legislature would continue to have the ability to make changes at Harvard.”
“Since that time, the state legislature has exercised this power 11 times, most recently in 1967,” he noted.
Earlier this year, Uyterhoeven proposed a separate bill that would force Harvard and other nonprofit universities into paying PILOTs — payments in lieu of taxation — “equal to 25% of the amount that would be paid if the property were not exempt from taxation.”
“Unfortunately, Harvard has failed to pay their obligations, and this bill is attempting to address that problem,” Uyterhoeven told the Harvard Crimson. “This is an attempt to say, ‘Look, let’s just then make it law, rather than having these agreements between municipalities and various nonprofit institutions.’”
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.