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Rhetoric: Harlan Crow, a major political donor and real estate billionaire with close ties to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, penned an op-ed attacking BlackRock’s responsible investing policies. 

  • In his op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Crow accused BlackRock of straying from its fiduciary duty as an asset manager, accusing them of misusing client assets to push a political agenda. 
  • Crowe insinuated that investors at BlackRock, the world’s largest financial institution, are missing out on returns from the coal industry. 
  • Crow oversimplified the energy transition landscape, arguing that for energy companies, “reducing emissions is basically promising to cut sales.”

Reality: Harlan Crow reaps the benefits of responsible investing he purports to oppose. Crow Holdings, of which Harlan Crow is Chairman of the Board, has repeatedly touted its ‘responsible’ approach to investing and has expanded its ESG program. 

  • In plane text on its About page, Crow Holdings touts its commitment to ESG and responsible investing, noting the company “weighs a variety of sustainability factors in connection with the acquisition, development, and ownership of its real estate properties.”
  • In June 2023, Crow Holdings announced it had launched Crow Holdings Renewables to develop community- and utility-scale solar energy and battery storage projects across the US. CEO Michael Levy noted the economic benefits of responsible investing by saying, “the country’s energy transition and renewables have demonstrably expanded opportunities in recent years.”
  • In September 2022, Crow Holdings announced the hiring of Head of Sustainability David Brooks to enhance “Crow Holdings’ ability to bring practical, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious solutions to current and future projects on behalf of both tenants and investors.”
  • Harlan Crow’s co-author of his op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Robert Rowling, is a Texas oil billionaire.