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Rhetoric: Politicians with deep ties to corporate special interests claim that companies pulling out of Climate Action 100+ is a positive development.

  • West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: “It has always been my position that investment firms should only consider the economic value of investments, not work to advance Biden’s far left woke climate change agenda. […] I’m encouraged to see that at least some are finally listening.”

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: “I am proud Texas has led the nation in opposing destructive ESG policies that will cripple our economy, including fighting the financial industry’s unlawful efforts to force ESG on customers.”
  • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes: “Since the earliest days of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance), my office has been unrelenting in opposing actions taken by a cabal of powerful public and private institutions wielding a disproportionate amount of power over everyday Americans.”

Reality: Actions to undermine responsible investing – like pulling out of the Climate Action 100+ – are bad for investors and harm everyday Americans.  

  • New York City Comptroller Brad Lander: “Climate risk is financial risk. Today BlackRock, JPMorgan, and State Street are choosing to ignore both. By caving into the demands of right-wing politicians funded by the fossil fuel industry and backing out of their commitment to Climate Action 100+, these enormous financial institutions are failing in their fiduciary duty and putting trillions of dollars of their clients’ assets at risk.”
  • The Kansas State Division of the Budget projected reduced returns of $3.6 billion over 10 years for the Kansas Public Retirement System if anti-ESG investment restrictions were adopted. 
  • The Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System estimated they could lose $30-40 million each year due to an anti-ESG bill requiring public divestiture from institutions using ESG-related metrics. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System estimated an additional $7 million in losses each year as a result of the legislation. 
  • According to the state’s Chief Investment Officer, the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System could face $9.7 million in taxes, fees and commission costs if it is forced to divest from BlackRock, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, State Street Corp, and Bank of America because of anti-ESG legislation. 
  • An economic analysis found that taxpayers in six states — Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Missouri — could be on the hook for up to $700 million in excess interest payments if restrictions on sustainable investing are implemented.
  • A 2022 study found Texas’ anti-responsible investing laws would result in up to $500 million in undue interest over the first eight months of enforcement, costs which would ultimately be borne by taxpayers in the state.