Politics

House Republicans Launch Antitrust Investigation Into Corporate Climate ‘Cartels’

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Sarah Weaver Social Issues Reporter
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House Republicans launched an investigation Tuesday into corporations that stress environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in their investing decisions, The Federalist reported.

In a letter sent to the steering committee for ESG initiative Climate Action 100+, six Republicans led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan demanded a number of documents relevant to uncovering interactions between the committee and certain firms “that may be unlawful under U.S. antitrust laws.”

“We are writing to you because of your roles coordinating how some companies pursue environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies in ways that may violate antitrust laws. Each of you is on the Steering Committee for Climate Action 100+, which seems to work like a cartel to ‘ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change,'” the lawmakers wrote, quoting from Climate Action 100+’s website. (RELATED: Dems Block Religious Freedom Amendment For Gay Marriage Bill In Rush To Pass It)

The letter alleges that companies may have worked together to punish certain behaviors deemed environmentally unfriendly, essentially creating a monopoly that violates antitrust laws.

The Republicans are demanding all documents from Dec. 1, 2016, to the present related to ways in which the committee may have directed companies on how they could better comply with ESG policy goals. The letter stipulates a deadline of Dec. 20, 2022, and requests that further records on this topic be preserved.

In addition to Jordan, the letter is signed by Reps. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Tom McClintock of California, Scott Fitzgerald of Wisconsin and Cliff Bentz of Oregon.

Republican lawmakers, governors and state treasurers have taken a number of actions against ESG investing, which has been adopted by many large financial firms to discourage investment in companies that do not adhere to certain climate standards.

Florida pulled more than $2 billion in assets from the financial firm BlackRock earlier this month for what the state’s chief financial officer called a “social-engineering project.”

State treasurer Riley Moore of West Virginia, who has been a vocal opponent of ESG, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in November that he plans to focus on combating “woke investing” if he wins his bid for Congress in 2024.

“We need to focus on it because ESG investing has caused energy prices to go up … they have created artificial scarcity within the market,” Moore told the DCNF.