New Chair of Climate Crisis Committee Owns Shares in Fossil Fuel Fund (Sludge)
Rep. Kathy Castor has a good environmental record, but she and her husband are profiting from gas, oil, and coal-powered utilities.
UPDATE: In late January 2019, Castor said that she and her husband divested their money in this fossil fuel mutual fund “to build confidence in her leadership” as chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced on Friday that a dormant global warming committee will be revived in the next session of Congress, and that it will be led by Florida Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor. The new committee, which may not have subpoena or legislative powers, will be called the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Castor tweeted on Friday, “We should act with urgency to reduce carbon pollution,” adding that “failure is not an option.”
The Florida representative, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, has a good environmental voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters, and has received a relatively small amount of campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests over her six-term career. But Castor’s 2017 financial disclosure document shows that she and her husband, Bill Lewis, share an investment worth between $50,001 and $100,000 in a mutual fund comprised mostly of holdings in utility companies that generate power from natural gas, oil, and coal. For a retirement account, the couple purchased shares in the Franklin Utilities Fund—Advisor Class, from July to October of 2017 and earned up to $2,500 in capital gains and dividends from the investment that year.