The Chicago City Council has voted to ban city investments in coal, oil, and even gas companies. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s treasurer support the move. The city will develop a list of companies that the treasurer will be banned from investing in, and she will also divest in companies that are added to the list of blacklisted businesses. The city has about $9 billion in invested assets, including pension funds.
The measure to ban and divest was introduced in late February and approved Wednesday. The ordinance said, “The consequences of climate change stand to make Chicago a less desirable place to live and work, negatively affecting the fiscal and social health of the city. Divestment is to take place as soon as practicable and in line with the underlying investment policy.
Chicago is among 38 U.S. cities that have dropped their investments in fossil fuel companies, the ordinance stated. One state — Maine — has passed a law to make it the first state to divest from oil, gas, and coal.
This week, the Chicago City Council will take up another ordinance — to temporarily suspend the new 3-cent city tax on fuel, in order to help consumers deal with high prices at the gas pump. Mayor Lightfoot increased the city’s gas tax by 3 cents per gallon at the start of 2021 and is now asking the council to reverse the tax.