Vermont State Treasurer Mike Pieciak supports fossil fuel divestment bill

Montpelier, Vermont – Today, at a hearing at the Vermont House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs, Treasurer Mike Pieciak reaffirmed his support for S.42 – the fossil fuel divestment bill to protect the Vermont Pension Investment Commission’s (VPIC) three pension funds from volatile and failing coal, oil, and gas investments. 

In March, S.42 passed unanimously through two state Senate Committees, and then through the Senate on a vote of 22 to 8. Now, the bill is making its way through the State House, with mounting support from pensioners, financial experts, and the state’s own Treasurer, Mike Pieciak, who testified today along with environmentalist and author Bill McKibben. 

Vermont State Treasurer Mike Pieciak testified:

“I agree with and support the divestment bill, and I recommend some changes in the language to clarify certain aspects. The number one goal is to do no harm to the pension funds. This bill does that by providing a flexible framework for divestment subject to the general fiduciary duty to maximize returns. The bill would not drive down the annual rate of return. By requiring that VPIC first do a study regarding our fossil fuel holdings and then create a plan for financially prudent divestment, the bill provides a thoughtful, slow approach that is financially sound.”

Bill McKibben, co-founder of & Third Act, testified:

“Fossil fuel divestment is a tried-and-true position at this point, adopted by many of the world’s most prudent investors–from giant pension funds in New York, California, Quebec and Maine to the endowments of the world’s great universities, including almost all the ones in Vermont. It’s time for Montpelier to actually get this done, and strike a serious blow against climate change.”

Third Act Vermont issued the following statement in support:

“We can’t reverse global warming, but we can stop the increasing global temperature by not burning fossil fuels. Instead we can invest in clean, renewable energy. We can use our power to stop the investment of the Vermont Pension Systems funds in fossil fuels, so we’re actively supporting the passage of Bill S.42.”

To date, over 1,550 institutions representing more than $40 trillion in assets have committed to some level of fossil fuel divestment. This comes as fossil fuel-funded politicians peddle anti-ESG legislation and false, politically-motivated claims, costing taxpayers millions. Ten states across the U.S. are mobilizing to pass divestment legislation. Over 8 Vermont organizations endorse S.42, including retired educators, state, and municipal workers.


Contact: David McColgin,; 802-356-9863