Maine

Maine college asked to divest fossil fuel stocks

PORTLAND, Maine — Environmental activists called on Maine’s Bowdoin College Thursday to stop investing its endowment in companies they say contribute to global warming.

Environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben of ­Vermont, joined by representatives from Unity College, ­Sierra Club Maine, and a student from Bowdoin College, said the liberal arts school in Brunswick can help combat global warming by stopping investments in oil, gas, and coal companies and other businesses connected to fossil fuels.

Students at 234 American colleges and universities have launched petition drives or taken other steps urging school presidents and trustees to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry, McKibben said in a telephone conference call with reporters.

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At Bowdoin, which has an enrollment of about 1,750, about 500 students have signed petitions, said Hugh Ratcliffe, a sophomore from Austin, Texas. Even more signatures have been collected from alumni and townspeople in Brunswick, he said.