Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2022
(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent letters to 19 major financial companies whose entire operations effectively may be boycotting the fossil fuel industry. He is seeking to clarify their fossil fuel investment policies and procedures. Hegar also requested from these companies a list of any mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in their portfolios that prohibit or limit investment in fossil fuels.
These inquiries come as Hegar continues his efforts to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 13. The bill prohibits Texas state agencies that invest funds from investing in financial companies that boycott energy companies. A company that fails to provide clarification 60 days after receiving this letter will be presumed to be boycotting energy companies.
“We know some of these companies hold investments in oil and gas today, but what about the future? Are they selling the hope of a ‘green’ tomorrow with promises to divest or reduce their fossil fuel exposure?” Hegar questioned. “A handful of companies are echoing promises by the Biden administration about a ‘transition’ to green energy. They’ve managed to convince people that electric cars and wind and solar power generation can meet our energy needs, and if we just stop investing in oil and gas, the transition will be swift and painless. Anyone who has paid any attention to recent events knows that just isn’t true.”
Another round of letters soon will be mailed to more than 100 other publicly traded investment companies that appear to have one or more funds boycotting fossil fuels. These companies will be asked to list all of their mutual funds and ETFs that refuse to invest in fossil fuels. Responses collected from these entities will help finalize the Comptroller’s list of companies that boycott the fossil fuel sector.
“Even before the war in Ukraine, Americans were facing increasing energy prices resulting from artificial efforts to curb domestic energy production, and the Ukraine crisis has only highlighted the importance of protecting our domestic oil and gas sector,” Hegar said. “Numerous companies and their leadership are pushing an environmental and social agenda that not only threatens the Texas economy and jobs, but also undermines national security. All of this comes at a time when Texas oil and natural gas should be playing a key role in supporting the American economy and providing security for our allies abroad.
“Our research thus far shows that some companies are telling us and other energy-producing states one thing, and then turning around and telling their liberal clients in other states another thing. On one hand, they push net-zero and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and use their influence and the dollars under their management to limit access to capital for Texas oil and gas firms. Then these same firms tell Texas and other energy states that they’re committed to the fossil fuel sector. It is time for these companies to come clean, stop the big lie and realize they can’t have it both ways.
“By identifying such companies, we can do our part to help ensure Texas is not investing public funds alongside those engaged in this duplicitous scheme. This is the wrong time to cut back on our investment in the vital fossil fuel industry, which has helped define our state’s success for more than 100 years. Texas won’t sit idly by while Washington and Wall Street peddle a fairy tale that has real negative consequences for the Texas economy, our energy independence and our national security.”