The Republican Study Committee (RSC) detailed how Environmental, Social, and Government (ESG) policies amount to a “war on American energy” and highlighted many of the Republican solutions to combat ESG leftist activism under a Republican majority, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
ESG investing has become the latest vector through which the left and highly influential Wall Street firms and corporations continue to to take social and political positions that do not primarily relate to their business.
Wall Street firms like to sell ESG, or as the RSC puts it, “socially responsible funds” to invest on criteria such as greenhouse gas emissions or a CEO’s compensation. The RSC noted that ESG funds often charge higher fees and underperform when compared to other low-fee funds.
ESG funds advance leftist goals such as climate change, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
House Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement that Republicans plan on combatting ESG after 2022, presumably when they take back the House majority. Banks explained:
A small handful of leftist bureaucrats and board members are behind ESG. Americans never voted for it, but ESG is still making the entire country poorer, more reliant on foreign oil, and less free. ESG is a cornerstone of Democrats’ Green New Deal agenda and one of the most serious long-term threats to energy independence and Americans’ pocketbooks. The Republican Study Committee will push to make combatting ESG a priority after 2022.
The RSC has detailed other policy solutions to combat the many crises unfolding under President Joe Biden’s watch. The RSC budget proposal would create an immigration plan to secure the border, reform America’s legal immigration system, boost wages, and grow the middle class.
The RSC noted in a memo that ESG not only advances a leftist agenda, it also slaps consumers with high fees and low returns.The RSC policy document noted:
ESG funds overcharge investors but still underperform because ESG by nature prioritizes “woke” causes over profit maximization. On average, ESG funds outperform non-ESG funds but charge fees that are 43% higher. For instance, say an ESG fund considers the oil and gas industry to be “bad” and excludes all energy investments. The S&P 500 Ex-Energy fund fell 17.35% since January 2022, whereas the Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Index gained 28.37% during the same time. Which would you have rather invested in?
ESG investing also makes energy more expensive, as detailed by the RSC.
The RSC found that ESG decreases investment in oil and gas producers by “choking off the flow of capital to creditworthy businesses.” The conservative caucus noted that privately held companies, which are less vulnerable to ESG activism, plan to increase their capital expenditures at twice the rate as publicly owned shale companies in 2022.
The RSC also noted that the Biden administration has pushed several regulations to advance the ESG agenda, including:
- The Biden Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose “fake climate statistics”
- The SEC proposed another rule to force funds and advisers to disclose “greenhouse gas emissions associated with their portfolios.” House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) noted that these proposals violate the SEC’s core mission to maintain an orderly securities market.
- The Department of Labor issued a regulation proposal to direct federal pension funds to factor ESG into their investment decision, instead of the well-being of American retirees. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) proposed legislation to block these retirement funds from joining the ESG “scam” investing mission, as reported exclusively by Breitbart News.
The RSC highlighted many solutions to combat ESG investing.
Kentucky conservative Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) proposed the Ensuring Sound Guidance (ESG) Act, which would force investment advisers and ERISA plan sponsors to prioritize maximizing financial returns over “fake ESG factors.”
Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and McHenry proposed H.J. Res. 88, which would eliminate the SEC’s proposed regulation on climate risk disclosures.
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) proposed the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act, which would rein in proxy advisers such as ISS and Glass Lewis by requiring these proxy advisers to register with the SEC, disclose conflicts of interest, and make their methodologies public.
Reps. Huizenga and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced the House version of the INDEX ACT, which would empower American investors by giving them a seat at the table and providing transparency in the corporate governance system.
Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, told Breitbart News, “Ground zero for the Biden war on energy is the weaponization of financial regulation to redirect capital away from American energy producers. We need to stop these regulators from driving up the cost of energy by politicizing access to capital. Republicans will keep fighting this every step of the way.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.