Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Climate Change Bullies Are Using Insurance Companies To Shut Down Companies That Don't Comply With Their Demands

Climate change activists are using insurance companies to stop insuring companies that use or produce fossil fuels.  

On Dec.  13, 2019, insurer Liberty Mutual announced a new policy that restricts coal insurance and investing.

Just two months after activists launched a campaign against Liberty Mutual for the company’s role in fueling the climate crisis, the insurer has announced a new policy restricting coal insurance and investing.

The news comes as the global climate movement sweeps across the insurance industry. Numerous protests and media coverage have placed immense public pressure on some of the world’s largest insurers to abandon policies that perpetuate climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, coal is considered the single biggest contributor to global warming.
According to a news release, Liberty Mutual stated that it will not insure new risks for companies with more than 25% exposure to coal; will phase out existing coverage to such companies by 2023; and will end new investments in companies that generate at least 25% of their revenue from coal mining or produce at least 25% of their power from coal. The company also appointed its first chief sustainability officer, Francis Hyatt, who will lead the company’s Office of Sustainability and oversee environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and initiatives.

“We are committed to being a responsible global corporate citizen with a focus on environmental sustainability, supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and investing in companies that show proven progress in this evolution,” Hyatt said in a statement. “We understand the shift from coal to clean energy is a journey, and we recognize the role the insurance industry plays in supporting that evolution for our customers. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that companies take an active role in advancing their ESG agendas, and I look forward to partnering with internal and external stakeholders around the world to help drive positive impact in society.”
This new policy makes Liberty Mutual, which has $8.9 billion invested in fossil fuel companies and utilities, the third U.S.-based insurer and 18th  global insurer to adopt restrictions on coal coverage and investments.

Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) Energy Finance Campaigner Elana Sulakshana, who participated in a staged protest outside Liberty Mutual’s New York City office in October, said in a statement: “In response to a groundswell of public pressure, Liberty Mutual has taken a first step towards reducing its role in fueling the climate crisis. But the company still lags far behind what the science says is necessary, and does not match best practice among U.S. and global peers … While Liberty Mutual’s new policy sets out strong restrictions on insuring coal companies, it apparently does not rule out covering new coal-fired power plants or coal mines from companies with less than a 25% stake in coal … Liberty Mutual must strengthen its policy to clearly rule out insuring any new coal mines or power plants, fully phase out coal across all insurance and investment activities in line with 1.5ÂșC, and stop insuring the destructive tar sands sector.”

Friday, September 13, 2019

New Holiday Week: Patriot Week Gets Bi-Partisan Support

U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Kennedy (R-LA) applauded Senate passage of a bipartisan resolution they introduced designating September 11th through September 17th as Patriot Week. Cofounded by Judge Michael Warren of Oakland County, Michigan, Patriot Week would honor the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, celebrate
Judge Michael Warren / Oakland County Michigan
Constitution Day on the 17th and encourage students to learn more about the history of the United States. 

“I’m pleased that the Senate passed my bipartisan resolution designating this week as Patriot Week,” said Senator Peters. “A national week of remembrance allows us to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and pay tribute to the courageous sacrifice of the first responders and  provides an opportunity for future generations of students to learn more about the leaders and events that helped shape the American story. I am thankful for all the work Oakland County Judge Warren has done to champion this important cause, and I was proud to partner with him and Senator Kennedy on this resolution.”

“Today is a fitting time to celebrate the strength of the American spirit,” said Senator Kennedy. “All of us remember where we were on 9/11 when the planes hit the towers and the Pentagon because it was clear that our country was under attack. Even this nation’s capital, the site of so much American history, wasn’t spared. We can’t forget 9/11 or any chapter in American history. Collectively, they tell a story that shouldn’t be forgotten.”

“As a grassroots organization started when my then 10 year old daughter Leah pounded on a table and demanded a new celebration for America, we are deeply honored that the United States Senate has officially recognized Patriot Week,”
Leah Warren
said Patriot Week co-creator Judge Michael Warren. “We invite all Americans to join us as we renew America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other patriots, vital documents, and speeches and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history.”

“In this time of division and rancor, Patriot Week is a nonpartisan initiative that reminds us of the Constitution and foundational first principles that unite us as Americans,” said Jennifer Grieco, President, State Bar of Michigan. “By deepening our appreciation for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the struggle for the rule of law and liberty, Patriot Week is sorely needed to help renew the spirit of America.”

Through the advocacy of Judge Warren and his organization, over ten states have officially recognized Patriot Week with official gubernatorial proclamations and legislative resolutions. Peters, is a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and he volunteered to serve again after the attacks on September 11th.

Learn more about Patriot Week here: https://www.patriotweek.org/

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Meadows, Tlaib hug after dispute over race in Cohen hearing

Two lawmakers who clashed bitterly over race hugged it out Thursday on the House floor.

Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan embraced and chatted for almost a minute as the House took its final votes of the week. It was a striking sight after the pair fought during Michael Cohen’s hearing a day earlier. There, Meadows tried to rebut Cohen’s charge that President Donald Trump is a racist. Behind Meadows stood a longtime Trump family friend, Lynne Patton, who is black. Meadows said Patton would not work for anyone racist.

Tlaib suggested Meadows’ use of Patton as a “prop” was itself racist, but later said she was not accusing Meadows of being a racist.

On Thursday, Meadows approached Tlaib on the House floor and offered a hand. She stood, put a hand over her heart as she spoke to him, and then threw an arm around his shoulders as the two embraced.

“She said she didn’t mean it yesterday, so there was no need to apologize,” Meadows said afterward on Thursday.

The upheaval came at the end of a day-long hearing in which Cohen testified that, among other things, Trump said black people are “too stupid” to vote for him.

Meadows, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, said he’s never heard the president say anything racist. At one point, Patton, who now works at the Department of Housing and Urban Development stood behind him. Meadows said she would not work for anyone racist, but she’d work for Trump.

Tlaib, the last member to speak, made her remarks about Meadows’ move and the two got into a shouting match. Meadows said he has family members who are African-merican.

Chairman Elijah Cummings got them to settle down and urged Tlaib to clarify that she was not calling Meadows a racist.