‘Environmental candidate’ Rep. Becky Evans divesting from fossil fuels

A Georgia House of Representatives incumbent in the race for House District 90 in DeKalb County has admitted to investing in fossil fuels after proclaiming to be “the environmental candidate.”

Democrat Rep. Becky Evans (HD89), who has been backed by environmental groups Sierra Club and Georgia Conservation Voters, said she plans to immediately divest from her financial ties to seven companies linked with fossil fuels.

A mailer by Evans’ campaign claims, “I’m incredibly proud to have authored 18 environmental bills and never taken a dollar from the fossil fuels industry, unlike my opponent.”

Rep. Becky Evans social media campaign.

Evans is running against Democrat Rep. Saira Draper (HD90) for the newly redistricted House District 90, which stretches 16 narrow miles north to south of DeKalb County. With only Evans and Draper running, the Democratic primary on May 21 will decide the contest.

Evans and her husband, David Evans, own stock in APA Corporation, a holding company of Apache, Canadian Natural Resources, ConocoPhillips, Hess Corp., Williams Companies, Shell PLC, and Glencore PLC.

In February, Apache was ordered to pay millions of dollars in civil penalties for unlawful air pollution from oil and gas wells in New Mexico and Texas. 

Evans did not have an estimate of how much she has profited from dividends, or how much she would make by selling the stocks.

“We are immediately divesting those stocks. We hope others will follow our lead on this issue and review their own personal portfolios,” Evans told Rough Draft. 

Evans, who calls herself “a passionate environmentalist,” said the stocks make up 4% of her portfolio. She said she’d spoken to her financial advisor about selling the stocks previously.

“I’m incredibly proud of my proven record the past six years of taking no donations or contributions from the fossil fuel industry … It’s important to me and I know it’s important to the future of our state that our legislators are provably independent from fossil fuel companies,” Evans said.

Evans said she and her husband were “glad this has been brought to our attention.”

Candidates are required to disclose investments over $5,000 or 5% interest in a company. Evans lists 209 investment interests on her 2024 personal finance disclosure form.

“My political rival has reported no investments at all,” Evans said.

Draper responded that her personal disclosures are complete. As for Evans’ claim that her opponent is taking money from the fossil fuels industry, Draper’s campaign finance records show that she received a $250 donation from Atlanta Gas Light.

Georgia state Rep. Saira Draper

“My campaign has always been about protecting our fundamental right to vote and using elections and voting rights to win a Democratic majority in Georgia,” Draper said. “While Rep. Evans claims to be the candidate of environmental justice, she has earned dividends from at least seven of the world’s worst polluters and fossil fuel companies. The residents of House District 90 deserve a representative whose values and actions are aligned.”

Sierra Club and Georgia Conservation Voters have not budged on their endorsement of Evans.

“Representative Evans has long been an advocate of the environment in the state legislature. We’ve endorsed her numerous times over the years, and we stand by our endorsement this year. We’re glad she’s divesting from companies involved with fossil fuels, and we hope more elected officials will do the same,” said Sierra Club Georgia Chapter Political Chair Eddie Ehlert.

Georgia Conservation Voters plans to amend their questionnaire to ask whether candidates are invested in or have received contributions from fossil fuel interests. They are maintaining their endorsement.

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