In an effort to counter President Joe Biden’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) agenda, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced the beginning of a new partnership with 18 other states.
Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Alaska, Missouri, West Virginia, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming are the other states that are participating in the endeavor.
The governor’s office claimed in a press release that ESG was “destabilizing the American economy and the international financial system.” As Congress passed a measure to bar politics from Americans’ retirement accounts, an initiative Biden opposed, the effort was launched.
The states said in a statement released jointly, “We as freedom-loving states can act together and utilize our state pension funds to demand reform in how large asset managers invest the money of hardworking Americans, making sure firms are focused on enhancing shareholder profit, instead of the expansion of awakened dogma. Instead of focusing on the highest rate of return when making investment decisions, Biden’s actions expose the pensions of thousands of hardworking Americans to the radical environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) movement.”
“While the corporate elite continues using their economic power to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box, retirees already suffering from the reckless fiscal policies of the Biden Admin. will continue to experience reduced returns on the investment of their hard-earned money. The spread of ESG across America is a significant threat to America’s economy, individual economic freedom, as well as our way of life, placing investment choices in the hands of the woke mob to circumvent the voting booth and inserting political ideology into investment choices, corporate governance, and the daily economy.”
The declaration listed the two initiatives that the states will jointly pursue:
“Among other things, this may entail prohibiting the use of ESG in all investment choices at the state and local levels, making sure that only financial variables are taken into account to maximize the return on investment, and safeguarding both pensioners and taxpayers. This might also include forbidding state fund managers from using ESG considerations when investing taxpayer money or banning the use of ESG elements by municipal and state governments when issuing bonds.”
In a statement, DeSantis said that the order was given to combat “the destructive impacts of the ESG regime by instructing our state pension fund advisers to reject ESG and instead focus on generating the maximum return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and pensioners.”