State Officials Fight Wall Street to Protect Pensioners From ESG ‘Scam’

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Treasurers work to expose what they consider a misuse of state retirement funds

After failing to advance their agenda by passing laws in Congress, progressives have found that they can impose their will on Americans just as effectively through our financial system. And while some state officials have recently started to fight back, they are heavily outgunned.

The world’s largest asset managers, BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, have signed on to the global Net Zero Asset Management Initiative and together use the $20 trillion of other people’s money that they manage to pressure companies whose shares they own into pursuing environmental and social-justice causes. Progressive state pension fund managers in California, New York, Maryland, and even Texas are doing the same with the trillions in retirement funds that they manage.

The various elements of this ideology have come together under the umbrella of “environmental, social and governance” finance (ESG), and its advocates now include the world’s largest banks, asset managers, pension funds, rating agencies, proxy agents, as well as numerous international corporate clubs including Climate Action 100+, the Global Investors Statement to Governments on Climate Change, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

ESG also has the support of the Biden Administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced it will require all listed companies to provide extensive reporting on their greenhouse gas emissions. It has the support of the Department of Justice, which just declared it would focus on “environmental justice,” and the Department of Labor, which announced it will no longer enforce a Trump-era regulation that barred private pension managers from including political causes such as ESG in their investment decisions.

The collective goal of these groups is to leverage their financial power to enforce the behavior that they want to see, targeting in particular fossil fuel producers and the gun industry. “Behaviors are going to have to change,” BlackRock CEO Larry Fink stated in a panel discussion last March. “You have to force behaviors and, at BlackRock, we are forcing behaviors.”

By Kevin Stocklin

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