22 April 2013


350.ORG launched their government divestment campaign (on 22MAR13) with the goal of villages, towns, cities and states, all forms of local government to withdraw any and all investments in fossil fuel industries and invest them in green technology, clean and renewable energy, and conservation. I e mailed the town council and Mayor of Herndon, VA, where I live, to find out if Herndon held any investments in dirty fossil fuel industries. I am very happy to share the response I received from Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. You may also want to check out the e mail from at Will your city divest? & MY E MAIL TO HERNDON'S TOWN COUNCIL AND MAYOR & UPDATE ON KEYSTONE XL 22MAR13
Mayor Lisa
Mar 26

to me
Dear Craig – Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the Council and me on divestment from fossil fuels.  Let me rest your mind that the Town does not invest any funds for fossil fuel industries.  Herndon is working on increasing environmental awareness in the Town and is looking at various areas in green technology, renewal energy sources and conservation. 

In 2011, the Town was awarded the Virginia Municipal League (VML) "Green Government" Certification.  Herndon’s participation in the “Green Government Challenge” spearheaded initiatives in the Town that included change in specific environmental policies and actions to reduce the carbon emissions.  For further information on the program, here is the link to our Webpage:

Also, you might be interested in getting in touch with Carlin Anderson, President of the Herndon Environmental Network.  I have met with her a few times and she has provided me with some information and insight. Here is their Facebook page and check them out and see if you're interested in joining:

Another individual you might want to contact is Joe Plummer, President and CEO of the Three Birds Foundation, an organization that believes every student should have meaningful learning experiences with renewable energy before graduating high school.  He can be contacted via email at

I hope the information I have provided is helpful. 

Description: Description: Signature Lisa
Lisa C. Merkel, Mayor


From: Craig Schwanke []
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 7:56 AM
To: Hutchinson, Connie; Jonas, Melissa; Kirby, Dave; Olem, Sheila; Charlie.Waddell; Wolf, Grace; Mayor Lisa
Subject: Divestment from fossil fuels

As a resident of Herndon I am interested to know the Town Council's opinion on divesting any and all funds the Town of Herndon may have in fossil fuel industries. While Herndon is not threatened by coastal flooding. rising sea levels, and massive wild fires we have experienced higher Summer temperatures and severe storms with an intensity has been increased due to global warming. We are also at risk from hurricanes moving up the East coast, hurricanes with increased winds and heavy rains that could cause damage to our community. Though we have been spared, so far, the worst effects of climate change, that will not last. And we do have a responsibility to our neighbors and fellow citizens in the Commonwealth, D.C., and Maryland as well as the rest of the nation. Coastal flooding and rising sea levels are problems along the lower Potomac and the Tidewater region, the Eastern Shore is at risk from more powerful hurricanes, rising sea levels and coastal flooding. Climate change is having a fiscal effect on Herndon. Every Commonwealth and Federal dollar spent on dealing with the consequences of climate change means less money available for projects and programs in Herndon. 

It just doesn't make sense to invest in the very companies that are responsible for the problems created by climate change, forcing the government to divert scarce tax dollars to deal with these problems. Divestment by the Town of Herndon may seem like a drop in the proverbial bucket, but combined with all the other divestment actions by local governments across Virginia will not only bring long term benefits to our community, but to the entire nation. Herndon can and should invest in green technology, renewable energy sources and conservation, setting an example for the rest of the Commonwealth and the Metro D.C. region. I hope you will consider divesting all Town of Herndon funds from all fossil fuel industries, coal, oil and gas, and I look forward to hearing from you on this issue.

Craig Schwanke
839 Locust Street, Apt 210
Herndon, VA 20170-4956