The Texas legislature subpoenaed BlackRock and any of its subsidiaries and affiliate entities last month for any documents related to the asset manager’s effort to push Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies.
The subpoena, first reported by Fox Business, was from the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs and requested any documents related to “ESG Integration Practices” and “ESG Factor” that BlackRock has in its position.
The subpoena came after the committee wrote a letter to BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) in August for documents related to any ESG decision-making process. Fox Business reported that Vanguard, State Street, and ISS turned over the relevant information the Texas Senate committee requested, while BlackRock failed to do so, leading to the subpoena. ESG policies are a form of leftist activism in financial investing that has become the latest vector to influence the way Wall Street financial firms and corporations continue to take social and political positions that do not relate to their business, such as stances associated with climate change, as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda. Wall Street firms, such as BlackRock and others, sell ESG as a way to invest according to specific criteria that the political left pushes on voters and consumers. Texas state Senate Committee on State Affairs chairman Bryan Hughes told Fox Business in a statement: The Committee needs these documents to uncover the extent to which these firms have been playing politics using Texans’ hard-earned money. Next week we will hold a hearing where each firm will appear and give account to the people of Texas. ... While each firm has produced documents, some have provided more than others. BlackRock in particular has refused to provide documents it considers internal or confidential. Accordingly, we have issued a subpoena to BlackRock for the production of additional documents the committee needs to complete its work. ... We will not allow these firms to continue to use Texans’ money to force a narrow political agenda.
They have a legal duty to put their investors’ interests first, and we intend to make sure they do. Earlier in the week, the committee chairman announced they would hold a hearing on December 15 to discuss the impact ESG policies from Wall Street financial institutions have on Texans. Reportedly the committee invited officials from the companies to testify, including BlackRock. Fox Business explained that Texas lawmakers and state comptroller Glenn Hegar started to focus on how such radical left-leaning policies pushed by corporate boardrooms can harm the Texas state pension plans. Many states, like Texas, are concerned about the policies’ negative effects on the oil and gas industry. Additionally, the state comptroller’s office recently published a list of financial institutions — including BlackRock — that have engaged in left-wing policies to boycott energy companies. Republicans have started aggressively fighting back against the ESG movement being championed by asset managers across the county. Last month, multiple state treasurers attended the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) conference, where numerous state treasurers from across the country launched their strategy against ESG policies.
The group launched a website, along with a video explainer, hoping to educate Americans on the dangers of ESG policies. At the conference, multiple state treasurers explained to Breitbart News that ESG policies hurt each state differently but collectively financially hurt all American taxpayers. Hence, they came together in a joint effort to combat the left-wing policies masquerading in economics.
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