College fossil-fuel divestment movement builds

Here’s a story run today in & nationally. Tim (a 2012 BCGP candidate) gave a more lengthy interview to Jennifer Lloyd, but only a snippet of that was attributed in the article below. Nevertheless, it’s awesome that SUSJ at UTSA is on the national media scene…
Be on the lookout for a local story by Lloyd. Spread the article & get behind their petition! You don’t have to be a student to endorse the campaign.

 Tim Garcia-Giddens (on right) at the Valero Protest on Mar 24th.

College fossil-fuel divestment movement builds

Kevin Bego, Associated Press

SWARTHMORE, Pa. — Student activists at more than 200 colleges, including University of Texas at San Antonio, are trying a new tactic in hopes of slowing the pace of climate change: They are asking their schools to stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

The Fossil Free campaign argues that if it’s wrong to pour pollution into the air and contribute to climate change, it’s also wrong to profit it. The strategy, modeled after anti-apartheid campaigns of the 1980s, aims to limit the flow of capital to fossil fuel companies by making their stocks morally and financially unattractive.

In theory, that could lead to a slowdown in how much fossil fuel is burned and indirectly speed investments in renewable energy.

At UTSA, a Fossil Free petition has collected only about two dozen signatures.

Timothy Garcia-Giddens, 32, who graduated from UTSA this month, recently launched the petition as an offshoot of the organization Students United for Socioeconomic Justice calling on UTSA to divest from the fossil fuel industry. He said he has yet to present the petition to university administration.

Garcia-Giddens said the group focused on climate justice last semester and is concerned about “over-industrialization” and oil dependency. He called on the university to cut ties with energy corporations Valero and Shell.

In 2009, the Valero Energy Foundation gave a $2.5 million gift to UTSA. In February, UTSA announced a collaboration with Shell to promote business growth in Carrizo Springs in light of Eagle Ford Shale developments.

UTSA representatives did not return a call seeking comment.

The Fossil Free campaign started in 2010 at Swarthmore College, a liberal arts school outside Philadelphia.

Express-News Staff Writer Jennifer R. Lloyd contributed to this report.