Speed Reads

Dirty money

Stanford University will no longer invest any of its $19 billion endowment in coal

Facebook/Fossil Free Stanford

Citing a responsibility to promote a more sustainable planet, Stanford University announced Tuesday it would divest from coal companies. In doing so, Stanford becomes the latest (and largest) of about a dozen colleges to nix coal investments after facing pressure from environmentalists.

The student group Fossil Free Stanford began a petition drive last year urging the change, which prompted a review from an endowment advisory panel and ultimately a vote from the Board of Trustees. In announcing the move, Stanford President John Hennessy said the school "has a responsibility as a global citizen to promote sustainability for our planet," and that emission-heavy coal did not jibe with that ideal.

Stanford does not disclose how it spends every penny of its endowment, but at almost $19 billion as of last August — the fourth-largest endowment in the nation — the potential pool of money is quite large.