May 10, 2023
Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes appeared before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to provide testimony on the critically important issue of how Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) factors distort the American financial system and harm consumers.
General Reyes has been one of the nation’s foremost leaders in identifying and fighting against organizations that promulgate ESG priorities over the financial and economic interests of investors and beneficiaries. The Utah Attorney General’s Office has recently called on the Security and Exchange Commission to allow full public input on ESG and climate investing rules, led a motion to protest Vanguard’s application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, spearheaded a multistate coalition to challenge the ESG practices of two proxy advisory companies, and joined almost two dozen attorneys general to warn many of the nation’s largest asset managers about ESG investments being made with Americans’ hard-earned money.
After testifying before the House Oversight Committee, General Reyes issued the following statement: I am thankful to Chairman James Comer and the members of the committee who realize the vital nature of the ESG issue. For too long, many Americans have found their financial and economic security compromised through the unlawful and unethical actions of certain organizations conforming to radical environmental standards and policies. All public servants, regardless of political party affiliation, should join the fight to stop this ESG movement and protect the interests of our constituents.
In General Reyes’ written testimony to the Committee, he explains why he has taken on an extremely active role in the campaign against ESG: “As the elected Attorney General of Utah, I serve as the chief law enforcement officer of a State that is home to over three million people. My fellow state attorneys general and I are charged with enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws to protect fair competition in our marketplace. Ultimately, our duty in this regard is to protect consumers, and ESG is a clear and present threat to them. I therefore welcome the Committee’s interest.”
General Reyes also encouraged Congress to remain vigilant and willing to confront the ESG movement on behalf of the American people: “The third is the recent Department of Labor rule that paves the way for ERISA fiduciaries to consider collateral factors in investments and shareholder voting. I applaud the bipartisan action of Congress to repeal this rule under the Congressional Review Act. As you know, it is only because of the President’s exercise of his first veto in his entire administration that this rule presently stands. I am proud to be leading a coalition of 26 states, along with private parties, challenging this rule in court. And I believe that actions by Congress such as attempting to repeal bad rules under the CRA draws much needed attention to these constitutional concerns. I urge you to keep up that work for future rules that are suspect on legal and policy grounds.”
Read General Reyes’ written testimony here.
Watch the House Oversight hearing here.