Politics

Louisiana Hits BlackRock With Massive Multi-Million Dollar Divestment For ‘Blatantly Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies’

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Clinton Global Initiative)

Sarah Weaver Staff Writer
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Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder announced his state will divest funds from the multi-trillion dollar investment firm, BlackRock, due to environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies some claim boycott the oil, gas and coal industries.

“Your blatantly anti-fossil fuel policies would destroy Louisiana’s economy,” Schroder said in a letter sent Wednesday to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.

To avoid losing state money “to the detriment of our citizens,” the Louisiana Treasury will gradually divest funds from the financial firm, Schroder wrote. The Louisiana Treasury divested $560 million from BlackRock as of Wednesday.

“Once complete, this divestment will reflect $794 million no longer entangled in BlackRock money market funds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) holdings,” according to the letter. (RELATED: Wall Street Does Damage Control After GOP Targets Woke Capital)

The letter took direct aim at ESG, an investing practice that penalizes industries believed to be harming the environment, but ESG’s environmental considerations are often made at the expense of other fiduciary duties. Investment firms that use ESG investing practices often refer to “stakeholder capitalism,” as BlackRock does on its website.

“At BlackRock, sustainable investing spans a range of strategies that combine traditional investment approaches with ESG insights to seek to deliver both financial and sustainable outcomes,” the firm’s site states.

Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink (L) and CEO of Blackrock France, Jean-Francois Cirelli, attend a meeting about climate action investments with heads of sovereign wealth funds and French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris on July 10, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink (L) and CEO of Blackrock France, Jean-Francois Cirelli, attend a meeting about climate action investments with heads of sovereign wealth funds and French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris on July 10, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Will Held, Executive Director of Consumer’s Research, an organization opposed to ESG, praised the Louisiana state treasurer for divesting from BlackRock.

“As noted in his letter, BlackRock is using the people of Louisiana’s money to advance a destructive agenda that raises costs for consumers in the state and across the country,” Held told the Daily Caller. “The seeds of today’s energy crisis were planted by BlackRock and others in their reckless abandonment of their fiduciary duty to cozy up to radical, woke politicians.”

Derek Kreifels, CEO of the State Financial Officers Foundation, a group that works with state treasurers to enact policies they argue are more in line with American consumer interests, praised Schroder for joining other financial officers in penalizing financial firms which employ ESG investing.

“Louisiana’s divestment, the largest to date, follows similar actions by several states including Utah, West Virginia and Arkansas with more actions likely coming soon,” Kreifels told the Daily Caller.

Nineteen Republican attorneys general sent a letter to BlackRock in August demanding the firm account for placing ESG standards on states’ pension funds. The states included Arizona, Texas, Ohio and Montana.

BlackRock did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.