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DEREK KREIFELS: It’s Time To Pull Back The Curtain On The Left’s Radical ESG Movement

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Derek Kreifels Contributor
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Companies claim ESG investing is “responsible” investing, and it analyzes organizations across the three criteria of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

“Environmental” is the left’s green agenda, driven by misguided strategies to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. “Social” criteria forces companies to adhere to political demands even when it has nothing to do with the company’s business. “Governance” focuses on political contributions, diversity and political activism of the company’s board, and a CEOs pay to determine if a company is a sound investment. (RELATED: KREIFELS: Red States Are Putting The Left’s Woke ESG Movement On Notice)

While these criteria may seem harmless, in reality ESG investment designations were created to push a radical, left-wing agenda. Americans everywhere, especially retirees, are being used by massive corporations like BlackRock, Vanguard and StateStreet. Many companies and investment firms are using a new ESG strategy to invest Americans’ retirement and pension funds, but how many Americans know what ESG investing is? Americans deserve to know where their hard-earned dollars are being invested in and how the ESG criteria may run counter to their values.

Various ESG proponents aim to destroy the oil and gas industry, force abortion on demand, mandate racial or gender quotas, strip away Second Amendment rights, harm Israel and its people. ESG hides behind “responsible investing” when in reality, these subjective measures are being used to drive political agendas and shirk fiduciary responsibility.

“This impacts every single American. Much of our pension dollars are now subjected to ESG standards above financial security,” said Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder. “ESG has been weaponized to ostracize and destroy those that don’t fall in line with the progressive political agenda, and Americans deserve to know what they’re dealing with.”

As State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) members continue to fight for their constituents, it’s important the American people have an honest understanding of what ESG really is. Our money should not be used to push policies that don’t align with our values and have nothing to do with maximizing the value of our retirements and pensions.

Regardless of your politics, those in power using your money to pursue their own political agenda should be of major concern. ESG is a highly-subjective political score infiltrating all walks of life forcing left-wing policies on everyday Americans resulting in higher prices at the pump and at the store. ESG funds have laggard performance relative to non-ESG funds, and investors, especially retirees on fixed incomes, must beware.

There’s much work to be done to educate Americans on the dangers of ESG to both capitalism and broader society. We are grappling with this problem during the SFOF National Meeting this week in Washington, D.C., building on the work of state financial officers, including many state treasurers, from across the nation. These men and women have taken significant actions, including billions of dollars in ESG divestments, to prevent ESG from harming the citizens of their respective states.

To fulfill an important ESG educational need, as part of our national meeting, Monday during a news conference, SFOF launched a new campaign titled “Our Money, Our Values”.

This new website, and accompanying six-figure digital ad buy officially launches during our national meeting. It provides resources to learn the truth about ESG and how it impacts our pocketbooks, livelihoods and how it pushes a left-wing agenda that often runs counter to American values.

SFOF wants to hear from you. If you’ve been impacted by ESG, we hope you’ll visit, share your story, and we may be able to help.

Americans deserve to know where their money is going and should be able to choose financial security over political agendas. SFOF is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to information, so their financial decisions align with their values.

Derek Kreifels is CEO of the State Financial Officers Foundation.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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