Just months after The Star News Network reported on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores taking over corporate America, bills are pouring into state legislatures around the country, some with the intent on implementing the practice and others with the intent of banning the practice.
Justin Haskins at The Heartland Institute, which has closely tracked ESG scores, defines them as the following:
In an attempt to secure vast amounts of wealth and influence over society, corporations, bankers, and investors, working closely with key government officials, have launched a unified effort to impose environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards on most of the industrialized global economy. (ESG standards are also referred to as “sustainable investment” or “stakeholder capitalism.”)
If a standardized method of governance for corporations is implemented by law, those standards could become so burdensome that small companies would be forced to cede to large companies.
Naturally, large companies are pushing ESG the hardest.
One of those companies is BlackRock, America’s largest investment company and one with a keen interest in residential real estate. In some cases, BlackRock owns entire neighborhoods, with renters at its mercy.
BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink is an outspoken proponent of ESG scores.
In a recent 3,300 word letter, Fink defended ESG scores, which he calls “stakeholder capitalism.”
He said the policies are “not Woke,” meaning they are not left-wing ideas. At the same time, he addressed criticism that BlackRock is not doing enough for left-wing social justice causes, saying that was not true.
“Stakeholder capitalism is all about delivering long-term, durable returns for shareholders. And transparency around your company’s planning for a net zero world is an important element of that. But it’s just one of many disclosures we and other investors ask companies to make,” the letter said. “As stewards of our clients’ capital, we ask businesses to demonstrate how they’re going to deliver on their responsibility to shareholders, including through sound environmental, social, and governance practices and policies.”
Not only are large companies pushing for anti-competitive ESG, but according to consumer advocacy group Consumers’ Research, companies like BlackRock are hypocritically making backdoor deals with the Communist Chinese.
“No amount of woke posturing can hide what BlackRock is really up to. The idea that an American company is taking billions of dollars and using it to bet on China’s success is extremely concerning,” Executive Director of Consumers’ Research Will Hild said of BlackRock in an October statement.
“We cannot allow this to continue,” Hild said. “Funneling Americans’ hard-earned retirement savings to China is unsafe from both a national security and financial perspective.”
The proposed ESG legislation in states throughout the country varies, generally based on political leanings.
For example, according to a map created by the Heartland Institute, conservative states like Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas have all proposed or passed laws to ban ESG scoring.
Liberal states, including California, Maryland and Massachusetts, have introduced laws to make ESG scoring mandatory for companies. Maine has passed an ESG scoring law.
Whether they are for or against the practice, state legislatures are taking it on.
“We’ve never seen bills fly out across the nation like this, and we’ve never had so many legislators reach out to us first, usually it’s us going to them,” Heartland’s ESG Policy Bette Grande said.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “exterior of BlackRock” by Americasroof CC BY-SA 3.0.