By Van Wallach ’80
As divestment of energy investments becomes a hot topic on college campuses, panelists with business and academic views gathered at the Princeton Club of New York Oct. 2 to discuss the intricacies of divestment.
The panel on energy, the environment, and endowment investing was sponsored by the Princeton Association of New York City and included four speakers: David Crane ’81, president and CEO of NRG Energy; Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences; Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics; and Randall A. Hack ’69, past president of the Princeton Investment Company (PRINCO) and founder of Nassau Capital and Capstone Capital LLC. The moderator was Carl Ferenbach III ’64, co-founder of the private-equity fund Berkshire Partners LLC, former director of PRINCO, and a current University trustee. Alison Holtzschue ’82, co-founder and vice president of Princeton Progressives, introduced the event.
The discussion ranged across issues that included the impact of divestment of stocks of fossil-fuel companies on the University’s endowment, and on the companies themselves; whether divestment would have symbolic value; what other steps the University could take in addressing climate change; and the balance between short- and long-term steps to “move the needle” on climate issues.