Student Guidelines

How to fight the divestment campaign in less than 10 minutes

The divestment campaign is an attempt to generate support for radical, unpopular bans on fossil fuel use by calling on universities to officially condemn the fossil fuel industry. (Look to see if there is an active divestment campaign listed for your school on

If you’ve read our “Don’t Divest, Educate” open letter and you agree with the dozens of leading scholars who have signed on, calling for universities to reject divestment, then you can help us fight this campaign: get your university’s administration to sign the letter. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes.

Just send the following email to the President and top administrators in the Office of Finance and Administration (you can their email addresses on your school’s website):

I am troubled by the fact that our university is being asked to divest from fossil fuels without a real discussion of both their hazards and their incredible benefits. I’m even more troubled by the fact that my fellow students and I are being pressured to take a position on one of the most important questions of our time—the value of fossil fuel energy—without a real understanding of the relevant issues. Instead of being educated about energy, we are being told to demand divestment on the basis of empty slogans such as “coal is dirty.”

I’m attaching a statement, “Don’t Divest, Educate–An Open Letter to American Universities,” in which dozens of academics, scientists, energy experts, and economists call on universities like ours to reject divestment as “an attempt to silence legitimate debate about our energy and environmental future” and instead insist that “you are an institution of education—not indoctrination.” I encourage you to sign the letter at

You can increase your impact by sending the same email to other members of the administration as well as professors and asking them to sign the “Don’t Divest, Educate” open letter. Here are some possible candidates.

  • Committee on Sustainability
    • Faculty Chair
    • Student Interns
  • Campus Investor Responsibility Committee
    • Faculty Chair
    • Student Interns
  • Office of the Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources (Potential Sponsor)
    • Dean of Planning and Academic Affairs

For contact information, consult your student handbook or online college directory.

Want to do more? Start An Anti-Divestment Movement On Your Campus

The divestment movement is a threat to the future of energy, but it is also an opportunity for anyone who values fossil fuels and the technological civilization they make possible.

Whether the divestment campaign is just getting started at your school or whether it has already convinced your administration or student government to take a position, it inevitably counts on silencing debate. By becoming a voice for open debate, you can immediately seize the high ground. You will find that even many of the people who disagree with your conclusions will come to your defense: they may be skeptical of fossil fuels, but they also believe it is wrong to silence dissenting views.

What this means is that you can quickly gain a hearing. And, with the resources we provide, you will have the tools to make that hearing count. Through our tested approach to defending fossil fuels, we believe you will be able to achieve real success turning fossil fuel skeptics into fossil fuel supporters.

15 Ways To Make Your Campus Fossil Fuel Friendly

  1. Like the ILFF Official Facebook page
  2. Become the leader of a “[Your School] Loves Fossil Fuels” campaign. Start by creating a Facebook group for the campaign to share the open letter with Graduating Class groups, College Groups, Environmental Clubs, Political and Debate Clubs.
  3. Host an event. It will require a little work on your part, but we can guide you through it step by step. Just email
  4. Read the proposal for divestment. Then create a proposal which would announce the reasons why your college loves fossil fuels and have the student government vote on it.
  5. Try new things on Facebook. Change your profile image to the “I Love Fossil Fuels” logo. Post memes on high-traffic student groups or pages.
  6. Print and distribute chapters of Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet to your administration. Or table with the book and anti-divestment letter in your college center.
  7. Approach your campus newspaper. Write an op-ed announcing your school’s ILFF campaign, or publish a meme advertising your event or activities.
  8. Form a Light Brigade to protest divestment sit-ins “in the dark” about fossil fuels.
  9. Go to the campus post office. Print out the anti-divestment letter and have the post office distribute it to faculty mailboxes. Or Print out ILFF memes and have the post office distribute them to student mailboxes.
  10. Go to the media and the public. Send the anti-divestment letter to local reporters and distinguished alumni.
  11. Email your letter to the leaders of student groups, physical science departments, and other departments which focus on public policy.
  12. Watch the ILFF and Center for Industrial Progress YouTube videos. Learn how to crash divestment protests and turn the tables on them.
  13. Add your school to our list of schools that won’t sponsor a debate.
  14. Get informed, stay inspired: Sign up for our mailing list at
  15. Ask for help. Part of our mission is to help you defend fossil fuels. Whether you’re looking a campus speaker, intellectual ammunition, or other resources, always feel free to contact us at

Success Stories

From Julian Hassan, student leader at Vassar College:

When I first read Alex Epstein’s book Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet, I came across a chapter on the ‘I Love Fossil Fuels’ Campaign. I was looking for a quick way to create a positive campaign to oppose divestment, so I decided to use the Center for Industrial Progress’ social media strategy with a twist. During the countdown towards Epstein’s talk at Vassar, I promoted the Vassar Loves Fossil Fuels Campaign and it went viral on campus almost overnight.

Before the talk, my campaign crowded the opinion editorial pages of my school newspaper. After the talk, it monopolized it. For the next month, I watched as the Vassar Loves Fossil Fuels Campaign kept the high ground with just one event, ultimately leading to the resignation of the divestment leaders who had tried to stop it. However, it was the outpouring of student support that convinced me, and other students, of the power of passionately declaring that my college and I love fossil fuels.