This week, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, a national leader in the fight against the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement, highlighted two significant developments.
First, embattled BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who was at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Sunday, told his audience, “…I’m ashamed of being part of this conversation,” – referring to the ESG discussion, reiterating that he was not going to use the word ESG because it’s been misused by the far left and the far right. Fink’s leadership of BlackRock has been at the forefront of Republican efforts to hold this radically environmental movement accountable to the rule of law.
Second, a coalition of U.S. Senators, led by Senator Mike Lee from Utah, sent a letter to the leaders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners, requesting information and answers about BlackRock’s requests for blanket authorization after the “world’s largest asset manager appears to be systematically violating its commitments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).” This letter follows General Reyes’s recent legal actions to intervene in FERC’s three-year reauthorization of BlackRock’s blanket authorizations to acquire over $10 million in voting securities of publicly traded utilities.
The Senators wrote in their letter: “BlackRock, however, appears to have fundamentally departed from its promises (a 20% ownership ceiling and the requirement that BlackRock hold stock as a passive investor that does not attempt to influence utility company operations). After joining CA100+ in 2000, BlackRock used its holdings to force its climate agenda on American utility companies. BlackRock’s partnering with other activist asset managers through CA100+ and NZAM appears to fundamentally conflict with its promise to keep its share percentage within certain limits.”
General Reyes said: “Republican attorneys general have been relentless in holding accountable asset managers who invest the hard-earned capital of everyday Americans. We are encouraged that leadership at some of these major funds is pulling them out of net zero alliances and rejecting or rethinking their commitment to unattainable environmental mirages. Americans are waking up to the threats of ESG, and as state leaders seeking to protect our citizens, we will continue to sound the alarm.”
General Reyes has been one of the nation’s foremost leaders in identifying and fighting against organizations that promulgate ESG priorities over investors’ and beneficiaries’ financial and economic interests. These two developments in the battle over ESG follow General Reyes’s appearance before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability in Washington, D.C., last month, when he testified on the critically important issue of how ESG factors are distorting the American financial system and harming consumers.