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This week, anti-ESG campaigns took yet another hit with Vivek Ramaswamy dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Unlocking America’s Future also released a new report detailing Big Oil’s $155 million campaign to stop the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule.

After receiving campaign cash from corporate polluters, more than 230 state and federal elected officials acted on their behalf to stop the SEC’s proposed rule. 

From ESG Dive: Unlocking America’s Future said following the SEC’s initial climate disclosure proposal in March 2022, Republicans who have received millions in career campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and other polluting sectors began lodging public opposition with the agency. In addition to letters sent during the public comment period, congressional officials have introduced a spate of bills to either nullify or restrict the SEC’s rulemaking on the issue.

Ramaswamy, one of the most publicly ardent supporters of anti-ESG efforts, was forced to drop out of the Republican primary after a poor showing in Iowa: 

From UAF’s statement “Vivek Ramaswamy Drops Out of GOP Presidential Race In Latest Sign Attacks on Responsible Investing (ESG) A Political Loser”: Vivek Ramaswamy launched his campaign promising to ride his attacks on businesses that engage in responsible investment (also known as ESG) to the White House. This failure should serve as a warning sign for other politicians who are pushing talking points from corporate polluters: it’s a political loser. Research shows that responsible investing helps our economy and our climate, and keeps America competitive on the global stage. Forcing risky investments onto people while hurting business growth, jobs, and our economy is simply out of step with the American public.

State legislators in New Hampshire introduced a new bill that would make it a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for knowingly investing taxpayer funds using ESG criteria.

From Pensions & Investments: “Executive branch agencies that are permitted to invest funds shall review their investments and pursue any necessary steps to ensure that no funds or state-controlled investments are invested with firms that invest New Hampshire funds in accounts with any regard whatsoever based on environmental, social, and governance criteria,” the bill said. The New Hampshire Retirement System “shall adhere to their fiduciary obligation and not invest with any firm that will invest state retirement system funds in investment funds that consider environmental, social, and governance criteria, as the investment goal should be to obtain the highest return on investment for New Hampshire’s taxpayers and retirees,” the bill said.

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