Pro-Coal Group Says UM Divestment Students are Hypocritical for Taking Coal-Subsidized Tuition
Today, April 26, a group of activists are protesting the University of Montana Foundation’s investment portfolio, urging the foundation to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Count on Coal Montana Spokesman Chuck Denowh described the protest as “ironic.”
"Well, I think it is very ironic that we have students here who have their tuition subsidized by coal protesting coal," Denowh said. "I think they would be a lot more believable and sincere if they asked the state legislature to stop sending all of that coal money to the University of Montana."
Denowh claims that coal makes up a giant portion of Montana’s tax base.
"Coal is one of the largest tax revenue sources for the state of Montana, and a big portion of that gets divvied up to the Montana University System. About one out of every ten of our tax dollars that the state of Montana collects is related to the coal industry, so its a great deal of money."
Some UM Students and members of other coalition groups led a sit-in at Gilkey Hall. They argue that divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment into other industries would be more economically and ethically wise. More information about the purpose of the sit-in can be found by visiting the Reinvest Montana Facebook page.