Skip to main content

Washington – U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) doubled down on his attacks against responsible investing and the energy transition with an attempt to diminish investor rights through the introduction of the Rejecting Extremist Shareholder Proposals that Inhibit and Thwart Enterprise (RESPITE) for Businesses Act. The bill would give public companies the power to exclude shareholder proposals that “interfere with their ordinary business operations.” 

The introduction comes on the heels of ExxonMobil’s lawsuit against two of its investors in an effort to block their proposal calling for the company to step up its work to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Senator Hagerty’s introduction of the RESPITE for Business Act is a woefully negligent move that infringes on American’s right to invest and hinders America’s progress on climate,” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “This is a transparent scare tactic that contradicts what experts have been saying about ESG: it’s good for the economy and the environment. The American people don’t trust politicians to meddle in their financial decisions, and this bill is a blatant attempt to do just that.”  

Unlocking America’s Future released a report in January revealing the oil and gas industry’s $155 million campaign to stop the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure ruling. The report outlined the hundreds of state and federal politicians who have taken money from these self-interested billionaires, including Senator Hagerty who has taken at least $203,793 in campaign donations and sent several letters to the SEC pushing back on the proposed ruling.

Representative John Rose (R-TN-06), who introduced the House companion bill to the RESPITE for Business Act, has received at least $47,010 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries.