Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is throwing his considerable weight in with Sens. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Mike Braun (R-IN) to put the brakes on a major White House initiative.
President Joe Biden and other Democrats are in full support of a new rule seeking to encourage “woke capital.” This anti-consumer movement prods Wall Street firms and other investors to ignore the profit motive and focus their investment strategies on social causes.
Manchin told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that the environmental, social, and corporate governance practice (ESG) is a danger to the U.S. economy. Further, its continued implementation may actually threaten national security.
The Democratic senator hails from a state that is heavily dependent on the fossil fuel industry, and he makes no bones about his allegiance.
Manchin explained that “if you’re trying to put pressure and get rid of fossil (fuels) before we have anything to replace it, you are going to damage our economy and make our country much weaker.”
This bill would put us one step closer to stopping ESG. https://t.co/whLkOnlaTa
— Joseph Miller (@Jdmillsmontana) February 3, 2023
With the November midterm results, Manchin is no longer the decisive swing vote he once was. The moderate senator, however, continues to be a foil to much of the White House’s agenda as he crusades for energy security.
As for ESG, the standards are increasingly used to guide investments by fund managers and others. Some respected firms are even offering financial products touted as dedicated to ESG investing.
For the record, a recent study by UCLA and NYU showed ESG funds significantly underperformed broader markets over the past five years.
According to a 2021 Governance and Accountability Institute report, over 90% of S&P 500 companies now issue ESG reports. Adding strength to the trend, as of Jan. 30, Biden’s Department of Labor allows managers to consider environmental and social issues while managing retirement funds.
This affects the investments and savings of over 152 million Americans. Naturally, this drew the attention of congressional Republicans along with Sen. Manchin.
Nothing warms liberal hearts quite like dictating to Americans where their dollars may be spent and invested. But by steering away from the all-important choice factor, lawmakers endanger the economic security and thus the overall security of the nation for their personal pet causes.