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Boston to sell off stocks in fossil-fuel, tobacco companies by 2026

Mayor Wu today signed an ordinance - which she helped draft as a city councilor - to have the city sell off any securities it holds in companies that make at least 15% of their revenue from fossil fuels, tobacco or private prisons.

Wu and outgoing District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley first began pushing for such divestment in 2014. The City Council approved the proposal last week, calling for city money managers to sell off any such securities by the end of 2025.

In a statement, Wu said:

Divesting from harmful industries to invest in sustainable and healthy jobs is not only the pathway to a green and resilient future; it’s also the most responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.


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The city is almost there. Just keep converting gas stations into housing.

Edit: The above is partially a joke as every time a gas station requests a permit to use the land for something else, a few people complain it's getting too hard to find a pump in the city.

Making it harder to refill a car is probably more symbolic than just divesting from fossil fuel companies.

Reducing/Eliminating parking minimums (and mandating high efficiency construction) would likewise be a bigger step in the right direction.


I remember back in the late '80s/early '90s that there was a Mobil gas station across the street from the Prudential Center (Boylston & Fairfield, where Fidelity Investments and the Apple Store are now). The station sold expensive gas for the Back Bay folks, but I'm not sure when the lot and station closed - likely 1994/1995ish.

if I recall, the Apple Store was a CopyCop prior. (and was a single or two story building if I recall). But I moved here in '98 and it was CopyCop still.

There were two working stations on Cambridge St as recently as 15 years ago and Grampys closed 8-10 years ago. The other may have been just a service station in the years before it closed. It has been a overflow lot for MGH the last 10 or so years, but will soon be part of a large medical building.

I don't recall all the stations, but there were about 5 stations on Cambridge St 50-60 years ago.

1) One on Charles Circle where this is an apartment building now. It was famous for having very high prices.
2) Grampys is now an office building. Locals didn't want housing there.
3) The fire house between South Russell and Joy st I believe was a service station.
On the north side
4) The previously mentioned station between North Anderson and Blossom.
5) I believe there was another station in the area around where the Wyndham and Charles River Plaza. Maybe where North Russell was.

The north side of Cambridge St didn't really recover from when it was widened in the mid-1920s until much later.

The joy in life comes from outliving people like that.

) Grampys is now an office building. Locals didn't want housing there.

Can you provide a news article or other source? It’s entirely possible that one or two people opposed some particular developer’s housing plans for that property, but in general the predominant voice of the neighborhood has been very pro housing, uniformly opposing the conversion of residential uses to anything else, and strongly supporting subsidized housing, including putting our money where our mouths are to buy out a mortgage holder so as to protect a big subsidized housing building from development.

It is great that this is being done, but when your police, fire truck, DPW trucks, and school buses still gurgle the crude like there is no tomorrow, might, maybe, you know, replace those city owned cars that park on Devonshire and Water Streets with electric cars?

I know those cited above will take longer to replace and the last thing I want is a snowplow or fire truck which runs out of juice.

This means that the City's actions today would be beyond window dressing by switching say the ISD and Assessing cars to electric.

Lots of suburban towns are already on hybrids or zero emissions for non-emergency cars.

Big City should too.


can't remember if it was BPD or MSP. anybody know?

The city already has a ton of Ford C-Max hybrids, most of which are also plug-in.

Full electric is coming, but for the amount of idling a lot of municipal vehicles do in Boston, it’s not totally sustainable yet. NYC isn’t quite there yet, either.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that electric cars don't idle. When the car is stationary for longer than a stop sign or traffic light, doesn't the engine spool down until it is needed and then the vehicle only uses enough power to run the basics like the lights?


Yes, an idling electric car is just "on" and uses minimal battery. It would end up being better for our air and budget to have idling electric cars instead of idling gas cars.


Some of the district patrol cars are used on multiple shifts. To have them down for a shift isn't feasible to recharge. You would have to purchase more of them to ensure you had enough for every shift. It may be possible with some of the specialized unit cars or vehicles that aren't shared across shifts. It would be interesting to see how they handled the equipment of the radios and computers that are a major batter drain. Has there been an environmental study about all of the excess used lithium batteries this switch will create?

I don't know what percentage of their fleet, but they have a lot of electric and plug-in hybrid ford products hanging around Devonshire and Water Street and other designated city parking only zones.

I would like to see more cop cruisers, though - they wouldn't have to idle to keep their computers running.

One simple ordinance might be to ban great big hulking commuter trains from idling at the stations. Stations already have electricity, so why park a power station on rails there.

What you need is a station hook up (800 volts third rail should do it) and a starter battery to get the stupid diesel started once you've left the station. Not a super expensive retrofit if you can't buy an electrification project.

They already regulate idling for diesel-electric locomotives. But as nobody is around to enforce it, you have to call them on it, document it, and bitch to authorities.
Same with delivery trucks and idling police cars, ad infinitum. Inconvenience is a greater evil than pollution, apparently.
Call Woodsy.

They HAVE starter batteries in the locos.
You don't have to ride MBTA commuter rail long without a head-end or complete power shutdown and then restart between stations.

They just have to shut them off more often when idling.

And at least at Back Bay, they should upgrade the exhaust ventilation system they installed which was (and still is) utterly inadequate when they reconstructed the place.

Why 15%?


So how do you plan on making up the shortfall from the lost dividend income, you Democrat con artist? We both know that a reduction in spending isn't happening. At least that tool O'Malley quit. Too bad we're stuck with Wu.


This is a very good time to divest from oil stocks - they are not going to work for the longer term because oil needs to be - and will be - phased out as the rising seas and other mayhem become increasingly in our face.


That's a really interesting way to respond to this story...

Surely over the next 4 years, the professionals who do this sort of thing for a living can figure out how to redistribute the portfolio.


Than oil company securities, I hope they tell me so that I can buy it too.

Stranded Asset Portfolios. (SAPs)

Oil stocks are not really recession resistant. Sure, we always need oil, but like any commodity the prices of the oil and the stock move up and down with the whims of the market. Believe me, I know. I bought a bunch of oil stocks "low" and am still waiting for them to recover.

….As long as they leave Hatoff’s alone! LOL!

Fossil fuel isn’t going anywhere until we start building more nuclear reactors like Terra Power. We need about 600 plants the size of Seabrook to go zero emissions.

More of the same old "we need nukes" talk from 20 years ago. We don't. Wind and solar can produce all the electricity we need, and are increasingly doing so. Building nuclear plants isn't going to happen when renewables are so much cheaper to build and operate. They are now cheaper than nuclear or fossil fuels, so it's a simple business decision. It would be foolish to spend money on nuclear.

And yes, fossil fuels are going away. When I can power my house with the PV solar array on my roof, as I've been doing for 10 years, the writing is on the wall for fossil fuels.

If you're about to bring up the "unreliability" of renewables, I invite you to think about the coming wave of electric vehicles, and read this article.

Believe it or not, this battery-powered truck can really power your house when the lights go out, and better still, doing so won't require a rat's nest of extension cords or even a portable generator. What Ford calls Intelligent Backup Power enables this all-electric rig to feed power from its enormous battery pack through its hardwired wall charger directly into your home's electrical system.

All those EVs are going to be batteries, storing up electricity when they're not being driven, which can then be used to power houses.

The grid will not run on wind and solar until they come up with an economical energy storage solution (you do notice the sun sets and wind stops blowing). If you have solar and no storage, try opening your electric main breaker and let us know what happens at night.
Until then, you need the grid powered by fossil fuels, which need to be replaced by nuclear.
If the “environmentalists” didn’t shut down nuke construction in the 80’s we would be much better off today.

If you have solar and no storage

You didn't read the linked article, did you? In case you haven't noticed, fossil-fueled vehicles are not going to be produced much longer, and all the EVs that will replace them will be constitute a storage system.

So you are going to discharge car batteries at night, the same time that most people will be looking to charge them?

Magoo powers Magoo’s house and car with a proprietary methane to power converter. Magoo eats beans every meal and holds in the toots until sleepy time. At sleepy time Magoo straps on a toot collector on Magoo’s bummy. The toots are collected and run through a toot burning generator which, in turn, produces all of Magoo’s electrical needs. Magoo.

Eat more beef and put collectors on the cows, and you'll likely capture more methane than from your sorry bummy.

Some farmers are collecting the methane given off by manure and selling it. I've also heard of farms that use it to power their own machinery.