Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida called Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing a “house of cards” that will “come crashing down” during a Monday press conference.
“I really do think that this is kind of a house of cards. I think it’s going to come crashing down,” DeSantis said during a Monday press conference to announce proposed legislation to end “woke banking” in Florida. “Because I think as more people look at this, they say, ‘OK, how is this benefiting, you know, me?’ Like you’re a retired police officer, is it benefiting you as a retired police officer or a retired nurse or people that have this stuff, to look to see how your investments are managed? No, it’s not benefiting them at all. Are the policy implications from this benefiting the public? Well, if you’re paying higher for energy and all these other things, I don’t think so.” (RELATED: ‘An Unqualified Disaster’: Tucker Carlson Lays Out International Failures Of ‘Green’ Policies)
ESG, also known as “sustainable investing,” according to the Corporate Finance Institute, can factor in corporate policies on gun control, environmental issues, abortion or other issues in addition to or instead of strictly looking at a corporation’s profitability. Critics of ESG pointed to crises in Sri Lanka, which banned chemical fertilizers that resulted in a 50% drop in crop yields in 2021, and Ghana, which suffered blackouts.
DeSantis also pointed to the need to compete with China as another reason to be skeptical of ESG, as well as high energy prices.
“Remember, higher energy cost drives increased costs and all goods because you need energy to produce anything, so it has a ripple effect across the economy,” DeSantis said. “And then I think that it doesn’t get talked about enough, I did mention it, we need to have competitive advantages against China, we need to be re-evaluating the relationship, where we’re so dependent on China. How are you going to be able to have the ability to do that effectively if the costs here are going up artificially.”
President Joe Biden and the White House have often called increased gas prices the “Putin price hike,” while also blaming oil companies for high energy prices, but some experts have said Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production has fueled higher gas prices. The Biden administration cancelled offshore oil and gas leases in May, imposed new regulations on onshore drilling in April and revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2021.
Biden promised to phase out fossil fuels during his 2020 campaign for president.
A gallon of regular gas cost an average of $3.416, an increase of 13.1 cents in the last month, according to AAA. On Nov. 3, 2020, the average price for a gallon of gas was $2.1218.
Missouri announced it was pulling all assets from BlackRock Oct. 18, claiming the company’s push for ESG was a “massive fiduciary breach.” Four other states announced they were pulling their assets, the Financial Times reported in October.
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