HB 2601 prohibits carbon-intensive investments

HB 2601
Died in Committee
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Measures/Overview/HB2601
Committee assigned to bill:

This bill would politicize state investments decisions by directing State investors to choose politically favored environmental stocks over traditional, reliable, historically money-generating energy sector stocks.

This comes as State investments in the State Government Pension system (PERS) is $24 billion in the red.  While Oregon is suffering from a pension crisis (among the worst in the nation), liberal politicians want to make it worse by blocking safe stock picks.  This bill could lead to the State being pressured to pick failing environmentally favored stocks that are losing money.

“Requires State Treasurer to exit from certain carbon-intensive investments, subject to fiduciary duties. Requires State Treasurer to develop plan to protect state investments from risks related to climate change. Requires State Treasurer to issue periodic reports on actual and planned progress towards completion of duties imposed under Act.”

It’s a broken system that lets feelings and emotions influence fiduciary responsibility. US Department of Labor defines the primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses.

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  1. The Oregon State Treasurer is elected by voters to responsibly invest state funds for a profit. This bill handcuffs the Treasurer from performing his fiduciary duty to maximize the return on investment. Bills like this are primarily for making political statements at the expense of the program it’s to which it’s aimed, rather than improving the program. Secondarily, the bill demonstrates the current lack of trust in our election process for statewide leadership. It’s another attempt at legislative arrogance and overreach.

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