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This week anti-responsible investing (ESG) policies across states like Texas and Tennessee faced scrutiny from across the political spectrum.

A professor of journalism and media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville called the Tennessee Attorney General’s lawsuit against BlackRock a “silly crusade” in an op-ed:

From “Tennessee attorney general pursues a silly crusade”: Now that social good activities are lumped together and mocked under the nonsense “woke” label, extremist Republicans in office have been clamoring against — and sometimes filing lawsuits against — ESG investing. One could say Skrmetti is “non-virtue signaling” to his radical right compatriots.

New reporting in Bloomberg demonstrates demonstrates that the Texas anti-ESG law is damaging the state’s reputation as business friendly:

From “Even BlackRock Funds Buying Oil Stocks Are Banned by Texas ESG Fight”: The findings demonstrate how vague rhetoric used by Republicans attacking what they call “woke” capitalism has found its way into statutes that have proven difficult to interpret and seemingly contradictory to the state’s self-proclaimed reputation as business friendly.

The Dallas Morning News editorial board published a scathing editorial on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s anti-ESG push:

From “Conservative Texas’ big government social agenda”: A bank that invests heavily in fossil fuel production but that also a) acknowledges the reality of climate change and b) invests in alternative fuel sources isn’t woke; it’s realistic and fulfilling its fiduciary duty by being forward-looking. Or what about a company that has decided that underwriting firearms manufacturers could expose it to unpredictable future liability? It could just be balancing risk vs. reward — good corporate governance. In Texas these days that could get a company in trouble.

Finally, an op-ed in Fox News (yes, that’s right: Fox News) decried Texas’ anti-responsible investing rule:

From “When Texas starts acting like California”: It would be bad enough if this ESG war was limited to our two largest states, but of course, others have joined the fray with red states lining up behind Texas while blue states team up with California. Stuck in the middle, as usual, are taxpayers who have to foot the bill for this back-and-forth battle. Simply put, all politicians should stop using taxpayers as their pawns as they duke it out in the culture war. And Texas politicians in particular should know better than to mess with their own state.

Congress continued its debate about responsible investing in a series of hearings this past week. Senate Democrats held a hearing on the impacts of climate change on municipal bonds, while, by contrast, House Republicans held two extreme hearings on responsible investing adjacent  issues, one on “stopping EPA’s overreach” and the other on the “risk of progressive ideologies in the U.S. military.”

Read more below:

ICYMI: Tennessee Attorney General’s Most Recent Anti-Responsible Investing (ESG) Lawsuit Is A “Silly Crusade”

New Reporting Exposes Texas Anti-ESG Law as “Contradictory to the State’s Self-Proclaimed Reputation as Business Friendly”

ICYMI: Fox News Op-Ed Decries Texas’s Anti-Responsible Investing (ESG) Law As “Micromanaging…Private Business.”