Loose Lips

Phil Mendelson: Fossil Fuels for Me, Not for Thee

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson wants the D.C. government out of the fossil fuels business.

On Tuesday, along with David Grosso and mayoral candidates Jack Evans, Muriel Bowser, and Tommy Wells, Mendelson introduced a bill that would make the city's insurance and retirement funds sell their investments in the 200 companies that have the world's largest oil, gas, or coal reserves.

"This legislation would provide an important policy statement that the District of Columbia takes seriously the critical issue of climate change and will not invest city resources in companies with the largest fossil fuel reserves," Mendelson says.

While Mendelson waits for his bill to pass, though, the chairman doesn't seem interested in doing some divesting of his own. As NBC 4 columnist Chuck Thies points out on Twitter, Mendelson has personal investments in fossil fuels. When Mendelson filed his 2012 financial disclosure form, he had $40,700 worth of shares in Chevron and a whopping $154,400.00 in ExxonMobil stock. That means Mendelson is investing in the companies with the sixth- and third-largest fossil fuel reserves, respectively.

Since both companies give out dividends, Mendelson is actively profiting from fossil fuels even if he doesn't sell his shares. If Mendelson is going to restrict city employees' retirement funds because he thinks fossil fuels are bad, shouldn't he do the same for himself?

Denise Tolliver, Mendelson's chief of staff, tells LL that Mendelson still has the Chevron and ExxonMobil investments, which he inherited. Tolliver wouldn't comment on whether Mendelson is going to sell his approximately $200,000 in shares to square with his bill.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Piece of Work

    Ah, another bit of effluvium dug up by a paranoid sociopath with an imaginary axe to grind. There used to be some credible criteria for opinion writing.

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  • Huh, PoW?

    This is good, straightforward reporting and a legitimate question for Mendelson to answer. He looks like a boob right now. The real effluvium (def. "an invisible emanation") is Mendelson's notion that this is an "important policy statement." VERY few people will care about or even acknowledge this "statement," unless you consider a shrugging and eye rolling to be forms of meaningful acknowledgement and interest.

  • Gray Matter

    ef·flu·vi·um

    noun, plural ef·flu·vi·a [ih-floo-vee-uh]
    a slight or invisible exhalation or vapor, especially one that is disagreeable or noxious.

  • Hypocrite

    Add Philly Mendo to the increasing list of hypocrits (Wells, Evans, Orange) on the Council.

    I'm seriously considering voting Gurley over this Fossil Fuel!

  • Ward2guy

    What a dumb bill. I'll be sure to not vote for the idiots who endorsed this bill.

    Evans, Mendelson and Grosso and Bowser can now give up their personal cars and ride bikes everywhere.

  • Greaseball

    @Huh, poW?

    If you say so Chuck. Odd though you are always gunning for your former paymasters to all of whom, excepting Diamond Cab Jim, you are persona non grata. What do you have on Tom Sherwood? Why nevef any dirt on Diamond Cab?

    Good straitforward reporters with integrity (and education) don't use the profession to pursue small minded grudges.

  • truth hurts

    Thies endorsed Mara.

  • Anonymous,Too

    Term limits on the whole lot of these a$$clowns.

  • So, Greaseball

    Answer this - should Mendo divest his personal holdings? If you think not, explain.

  • Typical DC BS

    Yet another example of why liberal Dems are morons when it comes to money and common sense.

  • Muwhahahah

    This is hilarious...you couldn't make this stuff up.

    What planet is he living on. He knew his financials were just made public last year. Did it not cross his mind for 2 seconds how incredibly hypocritical it would look for him to mandate the selling of probably hundreds of millions in city insurance and retirement assets, when he himself has a couple hundred grand in the same investments?

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