by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I suppose if boards succumb to the ESG pressure at the cost of their beneficiaries, suits claiming breach of fiduciary obligations will be brought. But that approach takes time and money and will probably be brought on a company-by-company basis, not across the board where it would have more impact.
It’s a rare but welcoming sign to see a tough pushback against these silly and intrusive campaigns. We finally got our wish this week when 15 states whose treasuries hold $600 billion in assets responded to the administration’s demand that financial institutions forego assistance to the capitol-needy conventional energy producers.
State financial officers wrote, “We have a compelling government interest, when acting as participants in the financial services market on behalf of our respective states, to select financial institutions that are not engaged in tactics to harm the very people whose money they are handling, Any financial institution that has adopted policies aimed at diminishing a large portion of our states’ revenue has a major conflict of interest against holding, maintaining, or managing those funds.”
West Virginia is leading this rebellion, just as their Senator Joe Manchin leads the rebellion against Biden’s preposterous and misnamed Build Back Better initiative. The fourteen states which have joined on are Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Alabama, Texas, and Kentucky.
Other energy-producing states like Alaska should join in. So should the rest of the states which are energy consumers, where rising costs and product scarcity are intimately related to the administration’s incoherent and irrational energy policies which demonize production of essential fuels.
As for Joe Manchin, Tom Finnerty is right — the senator gave us all a Christmas present. Other Democratic senators had reservations about this pork-filled legislation, but it needed people up front like Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema to just say no, and kill it.