The City of Santa Barbara was an early leader in fossil fuel divestment, adopting a socially responsible investment policy excluding investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and weapons in 2017. Mayor Cathy Murillo voted in favor of that morally and fiscally responsible policy, and her opponent, Randy Rowse, voted against it. Since then, massive pension funds in cities like New York have divested, and even BlackRock, the world’s biggest investment fund manager, has begun to do so. BlackRock’s internal reports found that divested portfolios “experienced no negative financial impacts,” and in fact generated higher returns.
Maintaining this kind of environmental leadership in Santa Barbara is crucial as another massive oil spill damages our ocean. After that recent spill, Orange County’s Huntington Beach became the 100th pacific coast municipality to pass a resolution opposing offshore drilling. Santa Barbara was early on that list. Ever since the 1969 oil spill, Santa Barbara has played an important role in ocean protection. That’s why it would not be appropriate for the Mayor of Santa Barbara to headline a city event sponsored by fossil fuel companies, including ones that caused the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill and that are actively seeking new permits. Instead, the Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously to hold their own inclusive State of the City event and to minimize participation in a fossil-fuel sponsored one held by the chamber of commerce. In contrast, none of the other Mayoral candidates had any compunction making their political speeches at the fossil-fuel funded event.
Mayor Murillo is the only candidate willing to stand up to fossil fuel interests, and she’s the only one with years of experience chairing the City Council’s Sustainability and Community Choice Energy Committees that are successfully navigating a path to 100 percent renewable energy, EV charging infrastructure, bike lanes, the State Street promenade and more. Vote for steady and experienced leadership. Vote to re-elect Mayor Cathy Murillo on November 2.