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Maine Becomes First State to Order Public Fossil-Fuel Divestment

Janet Mills

Janet Mills

Photographer: Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

Maine became the first U.S. state to enact a law requiring divestment from fossil fuels, after Governor Janet Mills signed a measure ordering public funds to jettison investments in coal, petroleum, natural gas and related products.

The state treasury and the $17 billion public employees’ pension fund must dump any fossil-fuel holdings by 2026, according to the measure signed on Wednesday. The Maine Public Employees Retirement System holds more than $1.3 billion in fossil fuel companies, according to environmental group Stand.earth. Holdings as of the first quarter included Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., with both companies among the fund’s top 30 investments by market value, data posted on its website show.