Louisiana by year’s end is set to pull $794 million in funds from BlackRock Inc., according to state Treasurer John Shroder, over the asset management firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda.
The state has already yanked some $560 million from the investment giant after taking issue with policy stances that many political leaders believe would cripple Louisiana’s energy sector.
Answering questions about the state’s divestment, Schroder said Louisiana will not submit to “financial pressure to get around the legislative process.” Though the current issue is energy-related, the treasurer spoke of an effort by banks a few years ago to change the state’s gun laws.
The result is the same. “If you want to change gun policy in Louisiana,” Schroder explained, “ go to the legislature and get a law passed that the governor will sign.”
For BlackRock’s investment strategy promoting harm to the fossil fuel industry, the state is pulling no punches.
— State Financial Officers Foundation (@SFOF_States) October 6, 2022
Any entity that is “on the warpath” opposing the gas and oil industry is working against the best interests of the citizens of Louisiana, Schroder declared.
He added that he refused to spend a penny of state funds to take food off families’ tables and “jobs away from hardworking Louisianans.”
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has drawn the ire of many investors for pursuing a “woke” agenda. In letters to shareholders, the CEO calls for an end to fossil fuel investing.
He is also on record with public statements claiming that high energy prices are beneficial because they reduce the “green premium” that must be paid for energy from renewable sources.
As of June 30, BlackRock manages almost $8.49 trillion in assets and has drawn considerable criticism from conservatives. Many accuse the investment giant of boycotting energy stocks in its push towards its political goals.
Schroder is having none of that.
In his five years as treasurer, he said, he has more than once had to push back against financial institutions attempting to shove through their own agenda. His issue remains the same — companies that put their goals ahead of the financial wellbeing of the investor.