Skip to comments.CA: Treasurer calls on teachers fund to divest Chinese energy holding (Phil Angelides)
Posted on 12/02/2005 4:11:05 PM PST by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The state pension fund for teachers should sell its $24 million investment in PetroChina Co. following a massive chemical spill at one of the company's plants in northeastern China, state Treasurer Phil Angelides said Friday.
Angelides said the firm was slow to respond to the Nov. 13 disaster, which contaminated the drinking water supply for nearly 4 million people. He said the company also has ties to the Sudanese government, which has been accused of human rights violations.
"It is clear that PetroChina's activities demonstrate significant environmental risks, human rights violations and ethical liabilities that present too much risk to CalSTRS and other shareholders and could be damaging to investors over the long term," Angelides said in a telephone interview with reporters.
The treasurer is one of 12 board members for the $129 billion California Teachers' Retirement System, the third largest public pension fund in the nation. He said that because the company is 90 percent owned by the Chinese government, shareholders have little option but to sell their interests if they are dissatisfied with the conduct of company officials.
The treasurer's call came the same day that China's top environmental minister resigned amid growing outrage over how the government has responded to the disaster. Officials in the city of Jilin have been accused of covering up the disaster for nearly 10 days before informing the public.
A call to the Chinese Consulate-General in San Francisco was not immediately returned.
Angelides said he opposed the teacher fund's initial investment in the Chinese energy firm in 2000. Pension managers for state funds in Illinois and New Jersey, as well as funds for Harvard and Stanford, already have sold their PetroChina holdings.
The treasurer said he sent a letter to the retirement system's fund managers asking them to immediately sell the stake in PetroChina, which they have the authority to do on their own. Angelides said he will take the issue up with the full board if the managers do not follow his request, but the earliest the board could act is February.
The explosion dumped about 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River and caused a 50-mile long chemical slick that is now flowing toward the Russian city of Khabarovsk.
It's OK that China is a totalitarian state to invest in but let them polute the water and -- LOOKOUT!
Well there you go... The California teachers are responsible for this oil spill in China.
That will never happen as the teachers union and the commies are one in the same.
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