Texas lawmakers have scheduled a hearing next week with asset management firms on alleged ideologically motivated mismanagement of taxpayers’ money.
Four months ago, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee requested documents from BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street and Institutional Shareholder Services regarding corporate promotion of the environmental, social and governance movement, also known as name of ESG. Hearings will begin on December 15 in the city of Marshall, Texas.
“The Committee needs these documents to find out the extent to which these companies played politics using Texans’ hard-earned money,” State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-TX) said in a statement provided to the DailyWire. “Next week we will be holding a hearing where each company will appear and report to the people of Texas.”
Officials recently warned BlackRock that efforts related to the company’s promotion of causes such as emissions reductions violate state laws requiring a focus solely on the financial returns of all trustees. Texas also announced that BlackRock and nine other companies broke the law by “refusing to deal” with companies involved in the production and use of fossil fuels “for no ordinary commercial purpose.”
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Hughes added that some companies have produced more documents than others, noting that BlackRock in particular “has refused to provide documents it considers internal or confidential,” leading lawmakers to issue a subpoena. . “We will not allow these companies to continue to use Texans’ money to force a narrow political agenda,” he continued. “They have a legal obligation to put the interests of their investors first, and we intend to make sure they do that.”
The subpoena, provided to the Daily Wire, highlighted BlackRock’s support for global climate initiatives such as the Net-Zero Banking Allowance and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, which aim to “use any part of the financial system to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. emissions or otherwise pursue environmental objectives.
BlackRock has taken ‘climate voting action’ against dozens of its portfolio companies, according to an investment management report released two years ago, prompting state officials across the country to note that such activism can damage their economies and increase national energy. prices.
A number of Republican state governments have recently withdrawn funds from prominent asset managers, fearing that corporate voting priorities may shift away from solely seeking maximum returns. In addition to divestments from South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, West Virginia and Utah, the state of Florida last week announced plans to withdraw $2 billion from BlackRock. here early next year.
As decisions by conservative state policymakers and broader market concerns dominate the headlines, BlackRock CEO Fink recently announced that institutional clients could vote for their own shares rather than allowing the company to act as agent.
“We’re seeing a settling of scores for those asset management companies who until recently thought they could take hard-working Americans’ money and use it to drive their progressive agenda,” remarked Will. Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, in a statement provided to the Daily Wire. “This Texas action will expose much of what these companies have been trying to hide – their agenda is driven by politics, not profit.”
At the federal level, however, the Labor Department has introduced measures to reverse a ban on ESG investing previously instituted by former President Donald Trump. The agency released a final rule last month that mirrored a directive from President Joe Biden to protect the economy from “climate-related financial risks that could threaten the savings and pensions of American workers and families.” Trustees will be permitted to take into account “the economic effects of climate change and other ESG considerations” as long as these factors are salient in risk and reward analyses.
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