So Long, Fossil Fuels

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald

The Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, the Episcopal Church Foundation, and the Investment Committee of the Executive Council have received orders from General Convention to purge investment portfolios of fossil-fuel companies.

The House of Deputies voted by a three-to-one margin to concur with the House of Bishops and pass the resolution. It calls for divestment “in a fiscally responsible manner” and reinvestment in clean, renewable energy.

The bishops amended the initial resolution to exempt the Church Pension Group from the rule. Noting that amendment, deputy Patrick Funston of Kansas said: “It shows our brothers and sisters across the hall are more concerned with their pensions than with the environment.”

A few deputies spoke against the resolution.

“Don’t handicap the investment committee’s ability to use all strategies to advance the values of the Episcopal Church, and don’t make us look like hypocrites,” said deputy Nancy Koonce of Idaho.

But the arguments for divestment carried the day.

“Our church should not be profiting from the destruction of life on this planet,” said deputy Betsy Bennett of Nebraska.

In another environmental measure, the House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops and approved a $700,000 program to help parishes and dioceses become more “ecologically responsible” in their stewardship of properties and buildings.

Image: Conesville Power Plant, via morgueFile •

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