Texas Pushes Back

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Texas is considering laws to force state agencies to cut ties with investors that “boycott energy companies” over "social issues" and prioritize environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), fearing it could leave energy producers out in the cold. Some $16 billion of state assets in public sector retirement funds is targeted by Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 2189, while others such as the $60 billion University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Co. are not included. "When state agencies contract with or invest funds in companies that boycott fossil fuel-based energy companies, it has a direct and adverse effect on the Texas economy,” said Rep. Phil King, a Republican. Institutional investors such as BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard with big stakes in energy equities, including Texas-based independents, are urging portfolio companies to adopt better ESG practices (NE Apr.1'21).

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