By Haleemah Atobilye, Program Manager
On February 6th, BCAction became the first breast cancer organization to join the California Fossil Fuel Divestment Coalition.
The Coalition is comprised of organizations that support SB 252, The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, which will prohibit administrators of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from investing in fossil fuel companies, and requiring that they divest of all current investments by 2030.
Divesting from fossil fuels is a major step in the right direction toward addressing and ending the breast cancer crisis. And this bill will add to the growing movement pressuring banks and other financial institutions across the US to stop funding fossil fuel projects.
Over the past 10 years, CalSTRS and CalPERS have invested close to $9 billion in fossil fuel producers, during a time when the state of California has experienced an unprecedented number of wildfires, floods, and other critical environmental crises. The air we breathe, our water, our food, and everyday items we use contain toxic chemicals produced during the extraction, processing, and burning of fossil fuels. Exposure to many of these toxic chemicals has been linked to breast cancer risk.
We’re no stranger to being the first breast cancer organization in an environmental justice space, and in anti-fossil fuel work. We know this work is necessary because of the cancer-causing environmental exposures produced throughout the fossil fuel continuum, and the environmental racism inherent to the industry.
To address and end the breast cancer crisis, we must end our dependence on fossil fuels.
Thank you for your support, advocacy, and activism in connecting the dots between oil and gas drilling, environmental justice, and health justice. By raising our collective voices to stop dangerous oil and gas drilling, we work toward a future in which people and communities can thrive because they are healthy, liberated, and free from breast cancer.