Liberty Plaza Owners Have Extensive Ties To Fossil Fuels, Tar Sands Industry
Some big thanks to the folks at Desmogblog for doing the digging on this one: According to their research the company owning the quasi-private park, renamed Liberty Plaza, now being occupied by Occupy Wall Street, Brookfield Asset Management, has extensive financial interests in the oil industry.
Brookfield, formerly Brascan Limited, is one of the largest companies in Canada, a global asset manager with a wide range of interests. The company has over $120 billion in assets. Brookfield is headquartered in Toronto and New York City; the parent company is publicly traded on the NYSE and Toronto Stock Exchange. It was founded in 1899 as the São Paulo Railway, Light and Power Company. [...] One of the central focuses of the company is power generation, and the giant owns 165 power plants.
Desmogblog accurately sums up, "They certainly have an interest in maintaining the status quo, a world without climate action where oil interests dominate."
The piece goes on to detail the connections Brookfield's Board of Directors has with the oil industry, it's worth reading in full, but a quick scan shows that two are executives with tar sands companies (including a former VP of Finance for TransCanada, the company hoping to build the corruption-tainted Keystone XL pipeline), nine have ties with oil or natural gas extraction or mining.
Also noteworthy, not mentioned in the Desmogblog piece: The New York Times points out that NYC Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend, Diana Taylor, also sits on the board of Brookfield.
More than anything, these connections just illustrate what we've been saying here at TreeHugger all along: Occupy Wall Street is about environmental issues as much as it is about economic ones, social ones. At the root of all these is excess corporate control of government, unaccountable to the people, or limited by any ethical concern beyond maximizing profits.