On Board With Divestment

On Board With Divestment is an initiative launched in Spring of 2017 to lessen the anonymity of our Trustees and move NYU towards more accessible and responsive governance. Through direct communication with Trustees, we will hold the Board accountable to the University Senate and the University community's decision to divest NYU from climate change.

#TrusteeOfTheWeek

Each week we will inform NYU about a different Trustee and reach out to the Trustee about the Board's responsibility to listen to the NYU community. 

 

4/19/17 campaign continues with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Al Mubarak is a member of the UAE Supreme Petroleum Council.[1] Mubadala Petroleum, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development, pursues oil and gas exploration and production in 12 countries.[2]  In May 2017, Mubadala Development will evolve to Mubadala Investment which will operate across four investment platforms, one being petroleum & petrochemicals.[3]   [1] http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/uae-president-reshuffles-supreme-petroleum-council-of-abu-dhabi [2] http://www.mubadala.com/en/what-we-do/oil-and-gas [3] http://www.mubadala.com/en/news/mubadala-releases-full-year-2016-financial-and-operational-results

Al Mubarak is a member of the UAE Supreme Petroleum Council.[1] Mubadala Petroleum, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development, pursues oil and gas exploration and production in 12 countries.[2]  In May 2017, Mubadala Development will evolve to Mubadala Investment which will operate across four investment platforms, one being petroleum & petrochemicals.[3]

 

[1] http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/uae-president-reshuffles-supreme-petroleum-council-of-abu-dhabi

[2] http://www.mubadala.com/en/what-we-do/oil-and-gas

[3] http://www.mubadala.com/en/news/mubadala-releases-full-year-2016-financial-and-operational-results

Continuing #TrusteeOfTheWeek campaign with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak:

Email Mubarak at compliancehelpline@mubadala.ae

Remember, be courteous, but feel free to voice your individual concerns!

Also, look back and call Fink, Paulson, Welters, Berkley, and Steinberg again!

Here's the suggested script:

Hello Mr. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, 
I am (name), a (student/professor/alumnus/worker/etc) at NYU. I am emailing to express my disapproval at the NYU Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given that 80% of our University’s Senate voted in favour of divestment, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the ever-worsening effects of climate change, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that you are failing to represent our community's consensus around this issue.
Recently it has come to my attention that many of our Board members hold compromising positions in their ties to oil companies, banks involved in oil trade, and the like; a matter which likely influenced their decision to reject divestment. The Board should have disclosed these conflicts. Any compromised members should have recused themselves from the decision. As these conflicts of interest come to light, more and more people in the NYU community reject the Board's decision as illegitimate. We ask that the Board addresses its conflicts of interests, allowing for a more transparent decision-making process and we call for a revote on divestment.

Members of NYU Divest would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in person. They can be reached at nyudivest@gmail.com. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4/4/17  calling continues with joseph steinberg

Joseph Steinberg sits on the investment committee of the NYU Board of Trustees. He is the current chair and former president of Leucadia National Corporation, an American holding company that, through its subsidiaries, encages in mining & drilling servies.[1] These ties present a clear conflict of interest given the decision making power Steinberg holds on our investment committee. Of these subsidiaries, Vitesse Oil LLC has drilling locations in Mountrail, William, and McKenzie Counties of North Dakota.[2] Also, Juneau Energy, LLC is a Houston and Denver based oil and gas company.[3] [1] https://relationshipscience.com/joseph-s-steinberg-p3139954 https://www.jefferies.com/News/PressReleases/201/422 [2] http://vitesseoil.com/about-us [3] http://www.juneauenergy.com    

Joseph Steinberg sits on the investment committee of the NYU Board of Trustees. He is the current chair and former president of Leucadia National Corporation, an American holding company that, through its subsidiaries, encages in mining & drilling servies.[1] These ties present a clear conflict of interest given the decision making power Steinberg holds on our investment committee. Of these subsidiaries, Vitesse Oil LLC has drilling locations in Mountrail, William, and McKenzie Counties of North Dakota.[2] Also, Juneau Energy, LLC is a Houston and Denver based oil and gas company.[3]

[1] https://relationshipscience.com/joseph-s-steinberg-p3139954 https://www.jefferies.com/News/PressReleases/201/422

[2] http://vitesseoil.com/about-us

[3] http://www.juneauenergy.com

 

 

Continuing #TrusteeOfTheWeek campaign with Joseph Steinberg:

Call Joseph Steinberg (212)-460-1900

Ask to speak with Joseph Steinberg. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name.

Remember, be courteous, and feel free to voice your individual concerns!

Also, look back, and call Fink, Paulson, Welters, and Berkley again!

Here's the suggested script:

Hello Mr. Steinberg I am (name), a (student/professor/alumnus/worker/etc) at NYU. I am calling to express my disapproval at the Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given that 80% of our University’s Senate voted in favour of divestment, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the ever-worsening effects of climate change, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that you are failing to represent our community's consensus around this issue.

Recently it has come to my attention that many of our  Board members hold compromising positions in their ties to oil companies, banks involved in oil trade, and the like; a matter which likely influenced their decision to reject divestment. The Board should have disclosed these conflicts. Any compromised members should have recused themselves from the decision.  As these conflicts of interest come to light, more and more people in the NYU community reject the Board's decision as illegitimate. We ask that the Board addresses its conflicts of interests, allowing for a more transparent decision-making process and we call for a revote on divestment.

Members of NYU Divest would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in person. They can be reached at nyudivest@gmail.com. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/31/17 DIVEST MEMBERS VISIT THE CORPORATE OFFICE OF william berkley

NYU Divest Delivers Letter to Chairman William Berkley Calling for Greater Accountability from Board of Trustees in Light of Conflicts of Interest

This morning, four NYU students went to William Berkley’s corporate office in an attempt to discuss a letter they released today describing the Board’s rejection of fossil fuel divestment as illegitimate. They spoke to his secretary who said Berkley was out of town but took a copy of the letter and said she would deliver the message. 

This action was the result of a several-week “Trustee of the Week” campaign of attempting to contact Board members following the Board’s rejection of divestment in June. Over the course of this campaign, research emerged demonstrating that many Board members had business ties to the fossil fuel industry. Divest released a letter, attached, detailing some of these business ties and calling for measures that would increase accountability as well as demanding a revote.

“It's frustrating as a student to feel that we aren't being represented, and that our best interests aren't being considered when making decisions and investments for the university. After attempting to contact members for several weeks with no response, we decided to go directly to their offices. William Berkley, as chair of the Board, must be held accountable to the NYU community,”said CAS freshman and NYU Divest member Emily Scheele. 

“As students, we have empowered ourselves to speak directly to those making decisions for the NYU community. Chairman William Berkley’s company insures the fossil fuel industry. How can we trust him to make a rational and moral decision on fossil fuel divestment?” said CAS senior and NYU Divest member Alexandra Dahlberg.

 

LETTER CONTENTS:

March 31, 2017                                RE: Reconsidering Divestment

 

To Chairman William Berkley, President Andrew Hamilton, and the Board of Trustees:

In June of 2016, the Board of Trustees rejected divestment in a closed-door meeting without public notes or transcripts. This rejection disregarded a University Senate resolution in favor of divestment that passed with over 80% of votes. The only result of this meeting was a short, university-wide memorandum that gave divestment a facile treatment, ignoring the proven feasibility of direct divestment, and making claims that were plainly false about the fossil fuel industry’s investment in renewables. We have already detailed these issues but mention them here to highlight the flaws in the Board’s decisionmaking process.

We, the NYU community, stand overwhelmingly in favor of fossil fuel divestment. Our dismay at the secrecy and shallowness of the Board’s reasoning has led many of us to attempt to contact Board members on our own. In this process, we have learned that Board members are inaccessible and do not respond to concerns from the community they are supposed to represent. We have been alarmed to discover through research that many members have business ties to the fossil fuel industry. Anthony Welters owns an oil company which has oil territories on native lands. Larry Fink’s company is the second largest shareholder in ExxonMobil, a company being investigated and sued for fraud and misrepresentation of known climate risks. William Berkley, the chairman, has subsidiary companies that insure the fossil fuel industry against risks such as pollution and accidents. How can we expect individuals who financially benefit from fossil fuel development to fairly consider an action that may stigmatize that industry and damage their own interests?

We reject the Board’s rejection of divestment as illegitimate and reckless. In the interest of the NYU Community, we have the following expectations for a fair and responsible consideration of divestment.

  1. Conflicts of interest: Board members with business interests tied to the fossil fuel industry will disclose their conflicts and recuse themselves per their fiduciary duty of loyalty. The Board will examine whether William Berkley’s business interests affect his duties as chairman.

  2. Objective inventory of climate risk: The Board will uphold their fiduciary duty of care by working with third parties to fully assess and consider material risks posed to the endowment by market shifts and regulatory responses related to climate change.  

  3. Transparency: Board meetings shall be open to the public, with publicly available notes. Board members will have publicly available emails where their constituents may reach them.  

  4. Participation: At least two students will be elected to the Board to represent student interests.

As none of these conditions were in place last June, we demand a revote on divestment within a reasonable time frame with proper transparency, participation, conflict disclosure, and recusals. These conditions are reasonable, and common practices at other Universities. Some are legally mandated.

If the Board truly agrees that climate change is a serious threat, NYU’s public mission gives its trustees a responsibility to divest. The NYU community deserves this from their University.

Sincerely,


NYU Divest for Climate Justice

 

 

 

3/27/17 CAlling continues with william berkley

William Berkley sits as chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees. While NYU tuition remains among the highest in the country, Berkley made millions from a company that encourages students to load up on debt to attend college.[1] Berkley Oil and Gas insures the oil and gas industry. Its mission is to “minimize and mitigate risks and hazards in the energy sector. What about the risks the industry imposes on us?[2] Finally, Berkley Offshore offers propert insurance for oil and gas exploration and production operations worldwide.[3] [1] https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/wall-street-hand-stays-the-stormy-course-at-n-y-u/?src=twr&_r=0 [2] https://www.expertinsurancereviews.com/insurance-company-reviews/berkley-oil-gas/ http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/201555045/16D2809F174B42B1PQ/32?accountid=12768 [3] http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/358593897/16D2809F174B42B1PQ/8?accountid=12768

William Berkley sits as chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees. While NYU tuition remains among the highest in the country, Berkley made millions from a company that encourages students to load up on debt to attend college.[1] Berkley Oil and Gas insures the oil and gas industry. Its mission is to “minimize and mitigate risks and hazards in the energy sector. What about the risks the industry imposes on us?[2] Finally, Berkley Offshore offers propert insurance for oil and gas exploration and production operations worldwide.[3]

[1] https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/wall-street-hand-stays-the-stormy-course-at-n-y-u/?src=twr&_r=0

[2] https://www.expertinsurancereviews.com/insurance-company-reviews/berkley-oil-gas/

http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/201555045/16D2809F174B42B1PQ/32?accountid=12768

[3] http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/358593897/16D2809F174B42B1PQ/8?accountid=12768

Call William Berkley at (203)-629-3000

Ask to speak with William Berkley. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name.

Remember, be courteous, and feel free to voice your individual concerns!

Also, look back, and call Fink, Paulson, and Welters again!

Suggested Script:

Hello Mr. Berkeley. I am (name), a (student/professor/alumnus/worker/etc) in the NYU community. I am calling to express my strongest disapproval at the Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given that 80% of our University’s Senate voted to freeze investments in the Fossil Fuel industry, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the ever-worsening effects of climate change, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that you are failing to represent our community's consensus around this issue.
Recently it has come to my attention that many of the Board members hold compromising positions in their ownership of oil companies, banks involved in oil trade, and the like; a matter which likely influenced their decision to reject divestment. The Board should have disclosed these conflicts. Any compromised members should have recused themselves from the decision.  As these conflicts of interest come to light, more and more people in the NYU community reject the Board's decision as illegitimate.
Continued investment in the fossil fuel industry will cause ruin to the lives of millions in the coming century, yourself and your loved ones included. It will wreck economies and inundate this city. It is your duty to ensure that the Board makes sound procedural, moral, and fiduciary decisions. Until the Board addresses these conflicts of interests, you are falling short of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/9/17 Calling continues anthony welters 

Anthony Welters established Spotted Hawk Development LLC, which is a shale exploration and production company on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Direct consequences of this company include, but are not restricted to, respiratory issues, cancer, low birth weights, murders, aggravated assaults, rape, human trafficking, robberies, and huge markets for heroin and meth.[1] In 2012 and 2013, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation filed a lawsuit against Spotted Hawk for manipulating tribal leadership and corrupting governance for lucrative land leases. Also, after another complaint filed by Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, the EPA ordered Spotted Hawk to cease gas flaring and pay a settlement for violating environmental health regulations (also in 2012).[2] BlackIvy LLC, the company of which Anthony Welters is an Executive Chairman, is industrializing vulnerable economies in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania by introducing them to offshore oil drilling dependence which results in elusive benefits for local economies.[3]   [1] http://www.meridian.org/profile/anthony-welters/ http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/1269682361/93D2035B364D44D7PQ/1?accountid=12768 [2] http://roundhousetalk.com/2013/02/25/spotted-hawk-complaint/ http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-01-23/environment/new-rules-on-gas-flaring-health-benefits-energy-savings-and-controversy/a56054-1 https://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/rhc/epaadmin.nsf/Filings/17827FD941AA0A6D85257A49001B7A72/$File/CAA0820120012%20CAFO.pdf [3] http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/08/takoradi-ghana-s-oil-city http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-06-24-ghana-invest-upgrading-takoradi-port-where-crude-oil-brings-you-water http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12646359 http://www.dw.com/en/ghanas-takoradi-and-its-uneasy-affair-with-oil/a-17820166    

Anthony Welters established Spotted Hawk Development LLC, which is a shale exploration and production company on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Direct consequences of this company include, but are not restricted to, respiratory issues, cancer, low birth weights, murders, aggravated assaults, rape, human trafficking, robberies, and huge markets for heroin and meth.[1] In 2012 and 2013, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation filed a lawsuit against Spotted Hawk for manipulating tribal leadership and corrupting governance for lucrative land leases. Also, after another complaint filed by Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, the EPA ordered Spotted Hawk to cease gas flaring and pay a settlement for violating environmental health regulations (also in 2012).[2] BlackIvy LLC, the company of which Anthony Welters is an Executive Chairman, is industrializing vulnerable economies in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania by introducing them to offshore oil drilling dependence which results in elusive benefits for local economies.[3]

 

[1] http://www.meridian.org/profile/anthony-welters/

http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2091/central/docview/1269682361/93D2035B364D44D7PQ/1?accountid=12768

[2] http://roundhousetalk.com/2013/02/25/spotted-hawk-complaint/

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-01-23/environment/new-rules-on-gas-flaring-health-benefits-energy-savings-and-controversy/a56054-1

https://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/rhc/epaadmin.nsf/Filings/17827FD941AA0A6D85257A49001B7A72/$File/CAA0820120012%20CAFO.pdf

[3] http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/08/takoradi-ghana-s-oil-city

http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-06-24-ghana-invest-upgrading-takoradi-port-where-crude-oil-brings-you-water

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12646359

http://www.dw.com/en/ghanas-takoradi-and-its-uneasy-affair-with-oil/a-17820166

 

 

Call Anthony Welters at (703)-286-1450

Ask to speak with Anthony Welters. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name.

**SEE CORRECTED EMAIL FOR WELTERS: TWelters@Namaya.org **

Remember, be courteous and feel free to express your individual concerns!

Also, Call Paulson (212)-956-2221 and Fink (212)-810-5300 back! 

Suggested Script:

Hello Mr Welters. I am (name), a (student/professor/alumnus/worker/etc) in the NYU community. I am calling to express my outrage over the Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given broad support from the community, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the urgent nature of climate change threatening our futures, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that you and the Board are not properly representing our best interests. I question your legitimacy in making decisions for our university and urge you to be accountable to the community. You are a person who controls vast amounts of capital, and the decisions you make can ruin and end the lives of millions. Please help us build a world where all of us can thrive. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/3/17 call PAulson and fink back!

Casey Box works as the Executive Director at Land is Life, a nonprofit that works with Indigenous Peoples on a grass-roots level.[1] He claims to be dedicated to social change which is why he sits on our Board of Trustees.[2] He also is a coordinator for Conversations with the Earth, another nonprofit aiming to give a voice to Indigenous Peoples on climate change.[3] Finally, Box is a fellow at The Americas Business Council Foundation which aims to promote peace and sustainability.[4]   [1] http://www.landislife.org [2] https://www.linkedin.com/in/casey-box-99938636 [3] https://conversationsearth.org [4] http://www.abcfound.org

Casey Box works as the Executive Director at Land is Life, a nonprofit that works with Indigenous Peoples on a grass-roots level.[1] He claims to be dedicated to social change which is why he sits on our Board of Trustees.[2] He also is a coordinator for Conversations with the Earth, another nonprofit aiming to give a voice to Indigenous Peoples on climate change.[3] Finally, Box is a fellow at The Americas Business Council Foundation which aims to promote peace and sustainability.[4]

 

[1] http://www.landislife.org

[2] https://www.linkedin.com/in/casey-box-99938636

[3] https://conversationsearth.org

[4] http://www.abcfound.org

Call John Paulson (212-956-2221) and Larry Fink (212-810-5300) back!

Ask to speak with Paulson and Fink. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name.

Remember, be courteous and feel free to express your individual concerns!

Update on Casey Box:

After reaching out this week to Mr. Box at his Land of Life office, it has come to our attention that Casey Box is a supporter of our campaign! Given his past work in environmentalism and indigenous rights, this is the outcome we hoped for. Updates on this alliance to follow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/24/17 CALLING CONTINUES WITH LARRY FINK

BlackRock is the largest money-management firm in the world. Its assets exceed the GDP of all countries besides the US and China. BlackRock is the largest financial institution the world and is the largest shareholder in one of every five major corporations in the US. BlackRock operates essentially entirely unregulated.[1] BlackRock is the second largest shareholder in ExxonMobil.[2] Furthermore, Fink works in a group of sixteen members known as Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.[3] Finally, BlackRock holds over one million shares in Energy Transfer Partners, which finances and operates the Dakota Access Pipeline.[4]   [1] http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/11/exposing-blackrock-whos-afraid-of-lawrence-fink/ [2] http://seekingalpha.com/news/3205819-filings-show-blackrock-withheld-support-two-key-exxon-directors [3] https://greatagain.gov/president-elect-trump-announces-additional-members-of-presidents-strategic-and-policy-forum-8aa8822eced9#.fc6chhmlp [4] http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=ETP http://lacartita.com/11192016.html  

BlackRock is the largest money-management firm in the world. Its assets exceed the GDP of all countries besides the US and China. BlackRock is the largest financial institution the world and is the largest shareholder in one of every five major corporations in the US. BlackRock operates essentially entirely unregulated.[1] BlackRock is the second largest shareholder in ExxonMobil.[2] Furthermore, Fink works in a group of sixteen members known as Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.[3] Finally, BlackRock holds over one million shares in Energy Transfer Partners, which finances and operates the Dakota Access Pipeline.[4]

 

[1] http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/11/exposing-blackrock-whos-afraid-of-lawrence-fink/

[2] http://seekingalpha.com/news/3205819-filings-show-blackrock-withheld-support-two-key-exxon-directors

[3] https://greatagain.gov/president-elect-trump-announces-additional-members-of-presidents-strategic-and-policy-forum-8aa8822eced9#.fc6chhmlp

[4] http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=ETP

http://lacartita.com/11192016.html

 

Call first, then email. Phone number: 212-810-5300

Ask to speak to Larry Fink. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name. 

Remember, be courteous and feel free to express your individual concerns!

Also, call John Paulson back! 212-956-2221

Suggested script:

Hello Mr Fink.  I am (name), a (student/professor/alumnus/worker/etc) of the NYU community. I am calling to express my outrage over the Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given broad support from the community, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the urgent nature of climate change threatening our futures, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that you and the Board are not properly representing our best interests. I question your legitimacy in making decisions for our university and urge you to be accountable to the community. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/17/17 Calling begins with John Paulson

Call first, then email. Phone number: 212-956-2221

Ask to speak to John Paulson. If they say no, ask to leave a message, either voicemail or with a secretary. If you are not a member of the NYU community, just give your name.

Please be courteous and make the message your own! 

Suggested script:

Hello Mr Paulson.  I am (name), a (student/professor/librarian/alumnus/worker/etc) in the NYU Community. I am calling to express my outrage over the Board of Trustees' decision to reject Fossil Fuel Divestment. Given broad support from the community, the proven feasibility of divestment, and the urgent nature of climate change that is devastating communities and threatening students’ future, it is inexcusable that the Board did not choose to divest. I am concerned that the Board is not properly representing our best interests. Thank you.