Skip to main content

Last week Saul Elbein, staff writer for The Hill, published an exclusive on Unlocking America’s Future’s new poll and report that together reveal the economic costs of Texas’ extreme positions and a growing disconnect between the state’s lawmakers and constituents on issues relating to ESG. The piece, of which Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton were contacted for comment, highlights the billions of dollars in annual taxpayer burden as a result of new legislation that blacklists financial institutions for engaging in responsible investing, restricts abortion access, and promotes the firearm industry, among others. 

“Over the past three years, however, Republican leaders including Perry’s successor, Gov. Greg Abbott, or Attorney General Ken Paxton, have told a different story of Texas’s economic success: that it relies on the unchecked ability of the fossil fuel and firearms industries to access capital,” wrote Saul Elbein, staff writer for The Hill

Notable Quote: “Texans do not support leaders who ignore real issues to push an extreme agenda, and we’re seeing that trend nationally,” Kyle Herrig, a spokesperson for UAF, told The Hill.

The article explains:

  • Since 2021, Abbott, Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) have gone to war against financial firms they accuse of boycotting fossil fuels or firearms. As part of this strategy, the state has barred state and local governments from doing business with 14 major banks that have policies around ultimately divesting from coal, oil or gas — the burning of which is the principal contributor to heating the planet.
  • The UAF poll suggests these findings are broadly unpopular; more than three-quarters of respondents said the Texas government shouldn’t be doing business with companies with bad environmental or workplace safety measures.
  • Over his career, Abbott has taken in nearly $53 million from the energy industry, followed by $13 million for Patrick and $5 million for Paxton — making energy the largest donor for all three.
  • About 77 percent of Texans surveyed — and 62 percent of Republicans — said Republicans in the state Legislature “were working for their wealthy campaign donors.” And 66 percent of all voters — and 45 percent of Republicans — said they were “too friendly to the fossil fuel industry.”

Unlocking America’s Future published the exclusive poll and report as part of its new campaign in Texas, which aims to educate Texans and the nation about the consequences of fossil fuel mandates and other extreme legislation. 

You can read the full story here.