I’m running for comptroller so the state divests its pension funds from fossil fuels

To the Editor:

I am running for state comptroller on the Green Party line to challenge the incumbent, Tom DiNapoli, over his refusal to divest the state pension funds from fossil fuels.

It makes no sense to invest funds in companies that are driving catastrophic climate change. Why invest in generating more extreme weather — rising tides, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires?

Putting billions of dollars into Exxon and other fossil-fuel companies is also a risky financial decision. Market funds without fossil fuels outperform those that include them. With the world having agreed to move away from fossil fuel toward renewable energy, companies like Exxon do not have a sustainable business model.

Since 350.org started the divestment campaign five years ago, more than 700 institutions with $6 trillion in assets have agreed to divest, including New York City. If New York State had divested when first asked to, we would have an extra $5 billion.

As comptroller, I will be an advocate for progressive revenues — higher taxes on the wealthy and lower property taxes. We need to restore ago revenue-sharing to local governments to the 8-percent level. The comptroller should speak out when state officials fail to comply with legal requirements such as funding for schools. I would advocate for solutions such as single-payer health care to lower costs.

When I served on my town board, I was able to help cut local property taxes every single year while expanding local services. I look forward to accomplishing a similar goal at the state level.

Mark Dunlea

Poestenkill, New York

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