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Rep. Phyllis Kahn invests in fossil fuels while asking Minnesota to divest

Rep. Kahn's personal portfolio includes investments in British Petroleum, Chevron, Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Rep. Kahn's personal portfolio includes investments in British Petroleum, Chevron, Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis), the grand matriarch of the Minnesota Legislature, beams amid a sea of sunshiny faces in a 2011 photo.

The Facebook post was made by Divest-Invest Minnesota, which works to divorce state pensions from fossil fuel businesses — companies like BP, the mega corporation responsible for the 2010 spill that defiled the Gulf of Mexico.

Next to Divest's picture featuring the longtime legislator reads, "Take a look at some Fossil Free Minnesota students hanging out with [Rep. Kahn] who openly supports divestment."

Kahn didn't just offer words of support. She took action.

She is one of the authors of a 2016 bill that seeks to investigate how the state invests pension dollars, with the ultimate goal of total divestment from fossil fuel companies.

But Kahn's personal investment portfolio tells a different story.

According to the current report with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Kahn invests in nearly 40 different companies. Among them: BP, Chevron, and Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum Corp., the 8th, 14th, and 21st largest natural gas and oil companies in the world.

Her other investments include Occidental Petroleum, Patterson-UTI Energy, a Houston company that drills for oil and natural gas, and Astec Industries, which manufactures road-building and oil-drilling equipment.

Kahn last updated her information less than three months ago. Finance Board Director Gary Goldsmith tells City Pages that any stock listed must have an investment of more than $2,500.      

The 79-year-old Kahn, who was first elected to the state legislature in 1972, faces the primary fight of her political life on Tuesday as challengers Ilhan Omar and Mahomud Noor look to unseat her.