Louisiana Pulls Funds From BlackRock For ‘Blatantly Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies’

On Wednesday, Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder penned a letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, informing him that the state will be divesting all of its funds from the company for their ‘blatantly anti-fossil fuel policies.’

The letter is not a complete surprise, as Fink has been advocating for an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda for some time now. In comments at public meetings and in shareholder letters, Fink has expressed a desire to end investments in fossil fuels.

In his announcement, Schroder said that comments Fink and his representatives made at a recent conference contradicted their other public statements, and he no longer found it in the state’s best interest to continue investing with the company.

“Your blatantly anti-fossil fuel policies would destroy Louisiana’s economy,” Schroder wrote. “Therefore, the Louisiana Treasury will liquidate all BlackRock investments by the end of 2022.”

The letter detailed that $560 million had already been divested from BlackRock, and by the end of 2022, the state will pull an additional $794 million from the company.

“In my opinion, your support of ESG investing is inconsistent with the best economic interests and values of Louisiana,” said Schroder. “I cannot support an institution that would deny our state the benefit of one of its most robust assets.”

“Simply put, we cannot be party to the crippling of our own economy,” he added.

The treasurer also suggested that the ESG agenda was contrary to law, in that it prioritized political and social goals over investors’ returns.

In an interview, Schroder emphasized that such matters should be decided by voters, not financial institutions.

“I have been the State Treasurer for five years, and this is not the first time I have had to battle financial institutions trying to push a political agenda,” he stated. “If you want to change gun policy in Louisiana, go to the legislature and get a law passed that the governor will sign.”

“Then I will follow it,” he continued. “You don’t get to use financial pressure to go around the legislative process.”