Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

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Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy
The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy.
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The Rockefellers — heir to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — believe they're doing their namesake proud … by getting out of oil.

The family's philanthropic organization — the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — announced Monday it would divest its $860 million in holdings of anything fossil fuel-related.

The fund will instead move that money over to cleaner alternatives in renewable energy. (Video via WGBH / PBS)

Fund director Stephen Heintz spoke reverently of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller in a statement.

"We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy."

Rockefeller's Standard Oil grew to become the first dominant U.S. business trust in the late 19th century, and the family's wealth and charitable work became legendary worldwide.

The announcement came in conjunction with the United Nations summit in New York to discuss climate change beginning Tuesday, which has already drawn hundreds of thousands in a march calling for lower carbon emissions. (Video via ABC)

The Rockefellers and others who've divested from fossil fuels don't appear to hold any misconceptions their money will have an immediate impact on an industry with huge profit margins, but the groups say they hope to inspire international debate on renewable energy. (Video via YouTube / OilJobsOffshore)

This video includes images from Getty Images and the Library of Congress and music from Kevin MacLeod / CC BY 3.0.