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This week in responsible investing, Unlocking America’s future announced a new campaign targeting extreme laws in Texas which threaten the state’s pro-business reputation. Other states should look to Texas if they want to see what happens when they adopt radical policies. More below:

Unlocking America’s Future launched a new campaign exposing how extremism in Texas is undermining the state’s financial success.

From UAF’s release: “For too long, Texas politicians have been pushing their own particular brand of extremism, one that alienates the majority of their own constituents and the rest of the country,” said Unlocking America’s Future spokesperson Kyle Herrig. “Texas should serve as a warning for other states, and a reminder that extreme policies are ultimately bad for business and wildly unpopular and out of touch.”

As part of the campaign, UAF launched ads in Texas calling on billionaires to stop messing with Texas.

From UAF’s release: “Texas politicians and radical billionaires would rather fight culture wars than preserve the Texas miracle,” said Unlocking America’s Future spokesperson Kyle Herrig. “They are more interested in proving their extremist bona fides than actually helping the economy in their state. Texas should serve as a warning to other states that are dealing with their own brand of extremism.”  

An Oklahoma judge blocked enforcement of an unconstitutional law in the state targeting responsible investing.

From UAF’s statement: “Judge Stinson’s decision is plain common sense. Of course it would be unconstitutional to target ESG investing when it is just one of many criteria used to determine the best outcome for investors. Judge Stinson’s ruling means those making decisions about where money is invested for state retirees can continue putting their interests above those of politicians.”

In the wake of this news, UAF examined the similarities between the Oklahoma and Texas laws.

From UAF’s memo: Not only is the Texas anti-responsible investing law bad for Texans, it may well be unconstitutional. As Texas politicians continue their descent into extremism, they are actively alienating businesses and undoing the Texas miracle. Other states seeking to grow their economies and ensure state pensioners can retire comfortably should look at Texas and Oklahoma as examples of what not to do.

The Okahoman published an op-ed from a public school teacher calling out the financial harm responsible investing bans cause to pensioners.

From the op-ed: “The actions taken by state Treasurer Todd Russ at the direction of our state-elected officials have cost Oklahoma’s taxpayers, municipalities and businesses an estimated $185 million to date. A recent study conducted by the University of Central Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Rural Association found that recently enacted legislation is costing us nearly $11 million a month, hurting our ability to fund and build critical public projects.”  

Despite attacks, most CEOs say sustainable investing is more important now than it was 12 months ago.

From ESG Today: Sustainability and climate issues are moving back into focus for senior executives globally, with more than half of CEOs reporting that sustainability is a higher priority now than it was a year ago, and decarbonization found to be the top long-term strategic priority for CEOs, according to a new survey released by global professional services firm EY.

The Washington Examiner published an op-ed riddled with factual inaccuracies on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate rule.

From UAF’s fact check: The Washington Examiner has published an op-ed by Todd Johnston, a longtime veteran of the mining industry who now works for a conservative organization, in which he claims that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new climate risk disclosure rule is a “lose-lose” for climate activism and companies.But he couldn’t be more wrong. Below, we’ve called out three of the most egregious inaccuracies to correct the record.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis snuck a dangerous anti-ESG measure into a financial bill.

From UAF’s ICYMI: Gov. DeSantis specifically called out the bill’s benefits to organizations like the National Committee for Religious Freedom, a group notorious for its anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Muslim work. The Florida Governor, who has taken millions in campaign cash from the oil and gas industry, touted the move as a step to “reject a global elite trying to force their ideology on us by capturing major institutions.” 

The Dallas Observer covered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s bank bans.

From the article: “That decreased competition drives up the cost for taxpayers and it makes the work that we do to dig our cities out of financial holes harder,” Houston Controller Chris Hollins said at the Austin conference. “Make no mistake, the twists and turns we must now navigate are contrived, devised and caused by select people here in Austin.”

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