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In his latest piece Houston Chronicle Columnist Chris Tomlinson laid bare how the Texas Board of Education is “putting the oil and gas industry ahead of Texas schoolchildren, hobbling the public school trust fund and damaging the climate.” 

The damning analysis looks at the Texas Board of Education Chair Aaron Kinsey’s recent announcement that the agency was pulling $8.5 billion of Texas’s Permanent School Fund out of BlackRock, the world’s largest financial asset manager. Kinsey blamed BlackRock’s leadership in the ESG space, calling it destructive and incompatible with the agency’s fiduciary duties. 

Key Point: While Tomlinson calls out Kinsey’s accusations as political posturing, he suggests the move is part of a broader slant towards authoritarianism in Texas. 

  • “Kinsey’s self-aggrandizing at BlackRock’s expense is the latest indignity for one of the world’s best-performing financial institutions. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian have already made political hay out of CEO Larry Fink’s thoughtful observation that savvy investors must consider climate change in their calculations.”
  • “Kinsey played fast and loose with the rules while engineering this political stunt, which was not required by law. The Legislature exempted the permanent school fund from the boycott laws.”

Key Point: Tomlinson points out this latest move is part of a broader trend across the U.S., where state elected officials are putting partisanship over reality. 

  • “Elected officials across the nation are following Texas’s lead in boycotting companies for pursuing profit.”
  • “Any investor who thinks the world’s largest oil and gas companies will produce all of the reserves in their inventories is delusional. We will always need petroleum products, but we will need a lot less.”
  • “Gov. Greg Abbott, Patrick and other Republican leaders are using state power to punish people who recognize this truth and invest accordingly. If that’s not an authoritarian abuse of power, I don’t know what is.”

Key Point: Tomlinson highlighted how Texas officials are ignoring the cents and dollars at the harm of Texans and young peoples’ futures. 

  • “[A] study found that boycott laws will cost Texas $668.7 million lost in economic activity, $180.7 million in decreased annual earnings, 3,034 fewer full-time, permanent jobs, and $37.1 million in state and local tax revenue losses.
  • “The state’s boycotts could cost Texas taxpayers $22 billion in higher interest payments on government bonds alone … Leaders unjustly punished these companies for their public statements, not their actions, since they invest billions in oil and gas.”
  • “The Texas Association of Business Chambers of Commerce Foundation, not exactly a bunch of left wing radicals, warned that the Texas ban on investing with BlackRock and 10 other major global financial institutions was hurting the state’s economy and reputation.”

You can read the full story at the link HERE