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Last Thursday Austin American-Statesman Chief Politics Reporter John Moritz published an exclusive on Unlocking America’s Future’s new six-figure campaign in Texas, which aims to set the record straight about the economic costs of Texas’ extreme positions. The article lays out the landscape around new legislation in the state that blacklists financial institutions for engaging in responsible investing, outlining how Texas lawmakers are doubling down despite overwhelming research showing negative consequences. 

“Unlocking America’s Future began running digital ads over the weekend warning Texans that rules targeting companies with policies known as ESG — for environmental, social and governance — have cost the state nearly $700 million in lost economic activity and have forced leading financial firms to quit doing business in Texas,” wrote John Moritz, Chief Political Reporter at the Austin American-Statesman.  

Notable Quote: “Texas has been over the past decade the epicenter of the kind extreme laws that we’re seeing go through other statehouses that directly benefit donors at the expense of their constituents,” Unlocking America’s Future spokesman Kyle Herrig told the American-Statesman.

The article explains:

  • State leaders have pushed back with force at suggestions that the laws are undercutting Texas’ decadeslong reputation for cultivating and nurturing economic expansion. 
  • Even though several additional states are considering anti-ESG legislation, a poll released this month by global financial services company Morgan Stanley found that more than half of individual investors plan to increase what they invest in companies with ESG policies. The poll also found that 7 in 10 investors “believe strong ESG practices can lead to higher returns.”
  • Such moves in a state that prides itself as being welcoming to companies seeking to relocate or expand their operations is sending out a signal saying that ‘Texas is closed for business,’ Herrig said.