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State Representative Paul Thissen

317 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-5375

For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499

Posted: 2017-03-23
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Press Release

Rep. Thissen Seeks Report on Impact of Fossil Fuel Investments on State Retirement Funds


ST. PAUL – Minnesota holds fossil fuel stock in its portfolio and Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) would like to know how climate change is affecting those investments.

“Climate change risks affect all industries and State workers are counting on us to make smart and financially responsible choices for their retirement,” said Rep. Thissen. “We should take a look at the impact these unstable investments could have on their funds. Private companies across our economy are already conducting these studies.”

Rep. Thissen’s bill (HF2472) requires the Board of Investment to prepare a report on the stability and security of investments in companies that are involved in the exploration, production, development, transportation or sale of fossil fuels.

The bill says the Board of Investment report shall include:

  1. Definitions of fossil fuel investments and renewable energy investments.

  2. An assessment of the concerns and potential costs of continuing to stay invested in fossil fuel companies, general and specifically, continued investment in coal mining and producing companies.

  3. Identification and assessment of alternatives to fossil fuel investments, including investment in renewable energy companies and engagement in the governance of fossil fuel companies.

  4. A description of how climate change is currently addressed in the investments of the retirement funds.

“We have to think differently about how we invest state money,” said Rep. Thissen. “There is tremendous uncertainty about the future of the fossil fuel industry and that is concerning. Hard-working men and women are planning for their retirement and have expectations about the financial health of their pensions. This report will provide information for legislators to start the conversation about future investments.”

The bill has been referred to the committee on Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance.

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