One of the worst things going in America right now is the phenomenon of “Environmental, Social, and Governance” investing, a fad pushed by a number of institutional investment houses – most notably the woke giant BlackRock – which substitutes left-wing political pieties for sound financial analysis in making institutional investment decisions.
ESG is playing a large role in the demand to phase out gasoline-powered cars, something which will lead to an utter disaster for our economy and personal freedom. The power grid can’t handle the load a fully electric automotive fleet would put on it, and even if it could it would require a huge increase in size and number of coal-fired power plants to do so – wiping out any alleged environmental benefit electric cars might offer.
And we’re finding out that the manufacture of those cars and their batteries requires mining of rare earth minerals and other environmentally unfriendly activities. In all, the direction ESG investing is leading us isn’t just a net negative for our economy and way of life but for our environment as well.
Not to mention that the America ESG investing is leading us to looks an awful lot like China. And that’s not a surprise given the massive ties BlackRock has to the Chinese communist party.
Several states have noticed these things and are beginning to push back. State governments are fairly sizable institutional investors in their own right, given the various state employee retirement and pension funds in their portfolios.
And now, Louisiana is joining the battle. A press release by Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office gives details…
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has issued legal guidance to Legislative leadership and the State retirement boards after a preliminary investigation showed that investment firms BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street may have violated its fiduciary duty of loyalty owed to their investor-clients in Louisiana. This guidance comes just weeks after Attorney General Landry, along with 17 other state attorneys general, launched an investigation into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings company Morningstar.
“Policy is made in our Legislative Branch, not woke corporate boardrooms,” said Attorney General Landry. “The Big Three have a responsibility to invest with their client’s best interests in mind rather than their own agenda on climate change, politics, and other self-interests.”
Attorney General Landry argues that investment firms that operate as investment advisors in Louisiana and utilize ESG factors without full disclosure to their investor-clients are likely in violation of their fiduciary duties imposed by Louisiana law. In Louisiana, those investor-clients include entities such as the Louisiana Treasury and Louisiana State Retirement Boards – including the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System.
The Attorney General’s legal guidance states that The Big Three (BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street) have “violated their fiduciary duty by, among other things, pledging together as part of Climate Action 100+, and, thus, have placed their interest in the ESG agenda above the interest of their investor-clients.” A further example of the violation of their fiduciary duty is provided in the fact that BlackRock is imposing the ESG agenda on Exxon but not on PetroChina.
“Whether it is big banks infringing on our Second Amendment rights or corporate elites attacking our energy production, these encroachments could greatly impact our way of life in Louisiana,” concluded Attorney General Landry. “So my office and I will continue fighting to ensure entities doing business with our State and her people follow the law and prioritize Louisiana’s best interests.”
Earlier this year, Attorney General Landry wrote the Louisiana Treasurer a letter calling on Mr. Schroder to no longer invest with BlackRock Inc. A copy of that correspondence may be found at agjefflandry.com/Files/Shared/Documents/2022.01.18-LtrtoTreasurerSchroder.pdf.
There’s a bit of a state-politics dynamic here, which is that Landry taking an activist position on ESG would put him to the right of Schroder if the Treasurer doesn’t act – and if Schroder does act, it may be seen as a “me, too” move where he’s following Landry and not leading.
But red states across the country are beginning to push back harder and harder on woke Wall Street, and with Louisiana’s economy so dependent on oil and gas this state has a natural position of leadership in this fight.