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Washington – The State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) announced the formation of a new 501(c)(4) political arm, SFOF Action, ramping up ongoing efforts to systematically ban responsible investing and maintain its stronghold over state financial officer positions across the country. 

The move is one of several steps SFOF has taken to thwart progress on responsible investing in recent years. Known for using its “power to promote oil and gas interests,” SFOF has deep ties to rightwing judicial activist Leonard Leo and his anti-responsible investing group Consumers Research. Consumers Research is SFOF’s largest donor and is funded by Marble Freedom Trust, an organization run by Leo. SFOF also has deep support from the Heritage Foundation, which has taken at least $7.25 million from the foundations of Charles Koch, the owner of energy conglomerate Koch Industries, and nearly $1 million from ExxonMobil.

But these ties go beyond funding – SFOF Action Executive Director Noah Wall worked at Charles Koch’s FreedomWorks for almost nine years before taking on his current role. For years Koch has funded organizations working to blacklist companies from engaging in responsible investing. 

In response to the launch of SFOF Action, Unlocking America’s Future Spokesperson Kyle Herrig issued the following statement: 

“It’s no surprise that self-interested billionaires, including Charles Koch, and the grifters that represent them, like Leonard Leo, are doubling down on their harmful attacks on responsible investing by launching a new political entity, the State Financial Officers Foundation Action,” Herrig added. “A wave of state and federal anti-ESG bills have met resistance amid backlash and poll after poll showing the popularity of responsible investing. Another Leonard Leo-backed group with ties to oil billionaire Charles Koch won’t change the trajectory of this fight.”

The announcement comes amidst a surge of new data showing the financial burden of recent anti-ESG laws is being shouldered by American taxpayers, while simultaneously enriching major oil companies. In 2024 alone, states like West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas have blacklisted some of the world’s largest financial institutions for engaging in responsible investing – in Oklahoma it has cost constituents $184 million in additional expenses in just the last 17 months. Despite the threats, major financial institutions are also doubling down on their responsible investing strategies, which research shows have comparable, if not better, financial returns to traditional funds with less downside risk. 

You can learn more about SFOF at ResponsibleInvestingWatch.US.