Statement from Harvard College Democracy Matters

Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, does not believe in climate change. Inhofe has received $454,500 from the Oil and Gas industry since 2009.

Oil and gas companies contributed more than $70 million to federal candidates in the 2012 election cycle, more than double the total from 2010. While our planet is suffering irreversible change, Big Oil is increasing their voice in government.

We are Harvard College Democracy Matters, a student organization working to combat the influence of big money in politics by raising awareness on campus. In many ways, our mission aligns with that of Divest Harvard: both groups recognize the power that energy interests have over our politicians and the enactment, or lack thereof, of sensible, necessary, pro-environment legislation.

We endorse Divest Harvard because we believe that Harvard should not condone the actions of these fossil fuel companies. By continuing to invest, Harvard is tacitly supporting the destruction of our planet and the weakening of our political system. We want change, but we realize that if we don’t fix our political system, our voices won’t be heard. Citizens like you, who are rallying here this week to create a cleaner, more sustainable future will be brushed aside by politicians who are beholden to special interests. We demand reform from Harvard and from our political system at large.

Like Divest Harvard, Harvard College Democracy Matters is also working to leverage our unique voices as students to build political power and create meaningful political change. We’re working with campuses across the country to petition Congress and presidential candidates for real campaign finance reform that reverses disastrous Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United and puts our democracy back in the hands of the people rather than a small group of wealthy interests. You can be a part of this growing movement by signing our petition and coming to our Tuesday evening meetings.

We are dedicated to protecting our climate and our democracy, which is why we fully support Divest Harvard and hope you’ll join our cause, too.