Liberal Oregon resists dropping controversial investments

Oregon

FILE – Cargo vessels are seen anchored offshore, sharing space with oil platforms, before heading into the Los Angeles-Long Beach port on Oct. 5, 2021. Oregonians are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus for any transformation on the Legislature. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting.

In addition to fossil fuel companies whose products are a main driver of global warming, the state employee retirement fund is also invested in a company whose spyware was used against human rights workers, journalists and other targets, and in companies that operate private prisons where detained immigrants were mistreated and some died.

Oregon’s treasurer and other top investment officials say they can’t pursue divestment because state law specifies investments must maximize returns. They say it’s up to the Legislature to change the laws.

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