For years elite, woke universities like Harvard, Yale, and others have repeatedly divested themselves of fossil fuels in order to appease leftist environmentalists who demand that their schools end their association with oil and gas. This has come with consequences as Harvard, which has the largest endowment in the United States, is about to be usurped.
The University of Texas system, which comprises 13 schools across the Lone Star State, racks in $6 million a day from oil money from 2.1 million acres held in the Permian Basin, roughly the same size as Delaware and Rhode Island combined, according to Bloomberg.
Harvard’s $53.2 billion endowment, an investment account that is grown through stock market investment, private equity, and venture capital, is about to be overtaken by UT’s $42.9 billion investment portfolio as the gap closes between the two following record prices in oil and gas.
Meanwhile, the investment portfolios of Harvard and Yale have decreased significantly not only as the stock market took a downturn in 2021, but as both universities divested themselves from fossil fuels.
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, for example, announced last year that the oldest college in America would let its investments in fossil fuels expire saying in a letter to students, “Given the need to decarbonize the economy and our responsibility as fiduciaries to make long-term investment decisions that support our teaching and research mission, we do not believe such investments are prudent.”
Meanwhile, Yale, which was overtaken by the UT system in 2018, announced divestment steps following pressure from student groups with the university pledging to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and announcing new investment principles in 2021 which would, “hold fossil fuel companies to a high standard,” per YaleNews.
While the elite universities divest from profitable resources and many advocacy groups claim that the UT System is doing too little to combat climate change, many fail to note the potential advantages of maintaining these land holdings in West Texas.
“These lands host extensive wind and solar power generation,” said William R. Murphy, Jr., the chief executive officer of University Lands told Bloomberg about the potential of the Permian Basin assets to be utilized for green energy.
The university “expects considerable growth in these areas and other emerging energies,” he continued as Texas produced more energy from renewable energy than coal in 2020 and the state became the leader in new renewable energy projects in 2021, according to a report by the American Clean Power Association.
While Yale and Harvard suffer for their divestments for the sake of appeasing woke environmentalists, the University of Texas is taking advantage of the windfall and utilizing its existing assets in oil and gas to become the wealthiest college system in the country while simultaneously increasing wind and solar investment.
The UT System is able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Perhaps the Ivy League could take a page out of Texas’ book.
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