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Washington – Today Unlocking America’s Future released a new report revealing oil, gas, and other extractive industries have given over $9 million in campaign contributions to the 22 attorneys general suing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its final climate risk disclosure rule. The research also highlights the AG’s connections to shady special interest groups, including rightwing judicial activist Leonard Leo.

“These misguided lawsuits come on the heels of highly coordinated misinformation campaigns attempting to block responsible investing,” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “These state attorneys general are acting on behalf of greedy billionaires and well-funded special interest groups, despite the fact that Americans overwhelmingly and across party lines support responsible investing.”

Within days of the SEC’s announcement, three lawsuits were filed in a coordinated attempt to kill the final rule through every desperate legal avenue. Within 24 hours, attorneys general from 10 states filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and, shortly after, attorneys general from Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This week, nine attorneys general filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Of the 22 AGs who have signed onto the anti-ESG lawsuits, the top five recipients of oil, gas, and extractive industry money include:

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton with over $5 million
  • Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch with over $809K 
  • Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares with over $502K
  • Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin with over $481,000
  • West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey with over $479K 

The attorneys general suing the SEC are all part of the Republican Attorneys General Association, which is funded by Leonard Leo’s Concord Fund to the tune of nearly $20 million. 

New polling from Workiva shows nine out of 10 investors believe the SEC’s new sustainability reporting regulations will help them make more informed investment decisions, and research has consistently shown these attacks endanger the financial well-being of everyday Americans, especially in the form of higher taxes and lower returns on retirement savings. 

You can view the full report at the link here.