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BlackRock Executive Cross Examined By Texas Lawmakers

A BlackRock executive was grilled by Texas Lawmakers on Thursday. BlackRock along with other asset management companies were called to testify in respect to their support the environmental, social, and governance movement, also known as ESG.

BlackRock was recently warned by officials that the companies promotion of certain causes like those of emission reduction violates state laws that demand a separate focus when it comes to financial gains on fiduciaries.

The hearing which was held on Thursday by the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs had been scheduled earlier in the month after BlackRock had  “refused to provide documents it considers internal or confidential,” this caused lawmakers to issue a subpoena according to a statement from Sen. Bryan Hughes.

Opening remarks presented to the committee by BlackRock Head of External Affairs Dalia Blas  stressed the company’s recent  turning point toward permitting investors to “express their own views on corporate governance in a meaningful way” by letting institutional clients vote their shares, a move which followed a campaign against the ESG movement led by conservative lawmakers.

The strained hearing was part of a larger political effort by Republican favored states to fight investment firms’ ESG policies.

“Many of these firms are not just boycotting oil and gas. Rather, they’re buying shares in oil and gas companies and then voting those shares against the development of oil and gas at a time when we need it more than ever before,” said Sen. Bryan Hughes, the Republican chair of the Texas panel hosting the hearing.

“The shares they are buying is not with their money, but with your money, with our money, with money entrusted to them by retired teachers, by folks trying to save to provide for their families, to provide a nest egg for their future,” Hughes added.

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BlackRock rendered some of its strongest public rejection to date. Several states comparatively exposed billions of dollars in pension funds.

BlackRock continues to invest in fossil fuel and has specified more than 100 billion worth of investments on Texas energy companies. In June BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told Bloomberg he did not want to be the “environmental police,” and said it was wrong to ask the private sector to protect the environment through their work.

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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