Posted On September 9, 2022

Investing to support social or political causes is as old as investing itself, but what we now know as Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing began in the 1960s as socially responsible investing.

In 2005, “Who Cares Wins” stated that “embedding environmental, social and governance factors in capital markets makes good business sense and leads to more sustainable markets and better outcomes for societies.” In 2006, the “Principles for Responsible Investment” were launched at the New York Stock Exchange, and the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI) launched in 2007.

ESG was planted in business and spreads left-wing policies and ideologies outside of the democratic process. They thought their sustainability talking points would carry substantial weight, but then they went up against the state that stands as a bulwark for liberty.

The idea of “boycotting the boycotters” started with legislation in the Texas capitol. If a company wants to boycott an industry vital to Texas’ economy, then Texas would in turn boycott that company. With Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s release of the list of financial institutions that may be boycotted by Texas our leaders have taken the next step to protect all Texans.

Energy is essential to everything we do. Nothing drives that home more than the energy crisis being experienced all over the globe because of the lack of fossil fuels. Sri Lanka committed to Net-Zero, and the result was crushing. The ban on nitrogen-based fertilizers has resulted in soaring poverty with nearly nine out of 10 families skipping meals.

Food production dropped 40% and prices have increased 80%. Europe’s skyrocketing energy prices and scramble to turn on shuttered coal, natural gas and nuclear plants proves that 100% renewable isn’t doable.

Recently added to the Texas blacklist, BlackRock has publicly endorsed the anti-fossil fuel, climate alarmist narrative, and are forcing businesses to comply. Financial News London said that BlackRock and others are practically, “having one’s ESG cake and eating it too — one day you’re shouting about how green you are, and the next…” they are having to expose that they invest in the fossil fuels industry to try to keep their business with the state of Texas.

BlackRock even said that the list made Texas “anti-competitive,” but Texans know that the list is us waving our battle flag. Texans will not tolerate woke companies pushing their ideologies on us while using our tax and pension dollars to do so.

Texas carries a lot of weight, state and local pension systems comprise more than $300 billion in assets — money that should be stewarded with the utmost caution and respect. Our public servants — teachers, peace officers, firefighters, paramedics, and others — will depend on their pensions one day for survival.

They deserve to know that their money is being managed well, with the goal being the biggest return on investment — not the loudest applause for virtue signaling.

So, when Texas fights back, it’s a wake-up call to Wall Street firms colluding to deny capital or otherwise change the course of businesses they deem politically incorrect. Texas isn’t alone in its move to protect its citizens. In August, Florida banned ESG consideration from pension funds.

Arizona’s attorney general has stated that he is committed to ending ESG practices and focusing public funds on financial returns. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky have passed laws, and Utah’s Marlo Oaks, West Virginia’s Riley Moore, and Nebraska’s John Murante are all state treasurers making moves to protect tax and pension dollars.

America has a fossil fuel industry that can make us an energy superpower once again while lifting the world out of poverty and oppression, and the states fighting ESG are moving the needle in that direction.

The Honorable Jason Isaac is Director of Life:Powered, a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to raise America’s energy IQ. He previously served four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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