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This week in responsible investing, right-wing forces doubled down in their campaign to block the SEC’s new climate risk disclosure rule, and Unlocking America’s Future launched paid advertising in Montana, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Meanwhile a new report demonstrated how Texas’ anti-responsible investing laws could cost the state $700 million. That and more below.

UAF released ads in Montana calling on people in the state to urge their representatives to support the new SEC rule.

From UAF’s release: “The SEC is taking an important step to ensuring companies disclose crucial information about the risks they create for small business owners, farmers, and those saving for retirement,” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “Greedy billionaires and the self-serving politicians in their pockets are already trying to block these new transparency requirements. Americans should demand that Congress side with Montanans and their families, not wealthy CEOs who prioritize profits over people.” 

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the SEC’s new climate risk disclosure rules which featured dangerous attacks on responsible investing.

From UAF’s statement: “This hearing is another example of extreme policymakers in the pockets of the oil and gas industry leveraging their positions of power to undermine responsible investing,” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “Research consistently shows that attacks on ESG threaten the transparency of America’s financial ecosystem, families trying to save for retirement, and the environment. Americans overwhelmingly and across party lines support the SEC’s rule, and they agree financial managers should be empowered with this information.”

UAF released new research on the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, a right wing group behind attacks on the SEC’s new rule.

From UAF’s release: “The American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce is part of a shady network of special interests backed by the oil, gas, and extractive industries attempting to systematically wipe out responsible investing and climate risk disclosures from America’s financial ecosystem,” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “Groups like AmFree Chamber are not acting in the best interest of Americans, our financial system, or the environment. Instead, they are simply trying to line their own pockets with money from greedy billionaires at the helm of top polluting companies.” 

UAF released a memo rounding up all of the the right-wing lawsuits against the SEC’s climate risk disclosure rule.

From UAF’s memo: When the SEC announced its new climate risk disclosure rule earlier this month, many organizations released statements of support for this important step forward for investors wanting to make informed decisions about their money. However, across the country, anti-responsible investing politicians and wealthy special interests have filed lawsuits, attempting to block the rule. 

Finally, a report from the Texas Association of Business found that the state’s anti-responsible investing laws could cost Texas $700 million.

From Houston Chronicle’s article on the report: “The new study follows the logic of a 2022 study from the University of Pennsylvania and the Federal Reserve, which examined the interest that Texas cities incurred on about $32 billion in bonds issued during the first eight months after the two laws took effect. That analysis concluded that Texas cities were expected to pay an additional $300 million to $500 million in interest over what they might have incurred in the absence of the law.”

Two retired Dow executives wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press explaining how responsible investing is “good business.”

From the op-ed: “We propose getting back to basics. The availability of standard, timely, and reliable information underpins the effectiveness of capitalism and the stability and growth that it provides. That’s not new. What is new is the recognition that in addition to financial information, ESG information is also critically important to make investment decisions. Investors deserve to have that information.”

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