Fossil fuels and City of Eugene money: Formally bar investment?

Fossil fuels and City of Eugene money: Formally bar investment?
A Whiting Petroleum Co. pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains near Bainville, Mont. on Nov. 6, 2013. A sharp rise in domestic oil production from the Bakken and other parts of the U.S. has led to a dramatic increase in crude shipments by rail due to limited pipeline capacity. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

EUGENE, Ore. - Should the City of Eugene prevent public monies from being invested in fossil fuel companies?

Mayor Kitty Piercy took up the challenge from 350.org and the Mayor's Innovation Project.

"I said yes, because I thought it was perfectly in lines with the goals of our city," Piercy said.

The issue might prove a slam dunk.

"To my understanding, we have no direct investments in fossil fuels," Piercy said. | More on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Initiative

When the Council convenes its first meeting of 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 13, the question of fossil fuel divestment will be at the bottom of the agenda behind other, more pressing matters.

"We have a number of items on the agenda. quite a few of them are related to the budget and financial reports," said Jan Bohman with the City of Eugene.

The budget committee is working to close a $3 million gap in the general fund.

"They've been out talking to community members and workshops. They've looked at a whole long list of possible budget strategies. They have come up with some scenarios," Bohman said.

Those six scenarios will be presented to the public January 21 and January 28.

"It's always exciting to get back to work again after the state of the city," Piercy said.