Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday called for legislation to tackle Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) banking in the Sunshine State.
Speaking behind a sign reading, “Government of Laws, Not Woke Politics,” the governor lambasted the elites injecting what he described as woke banking, or “political ideology into investment decisions, corporate governance, and really just the everyday economy.”
As an example, DeSantis said ESG “did not want us to be energy independent,” which “affects our national security.”
“When you have to go to foreign countries that are hostile to us to try to get energy, that is not a good place to be in,” he explained. “What ESG wants to do is put a premium against that type of business.”
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) February 13, 2023
“It’s also bad for our national security. When you’re doing this stuff with ESG, you are increasing the costs that businesses have to comply with in the United States,” he continued, declaring that “we will be standing up for folks in Daytona and Destin, not following the elites in Davos” who are targeting “domestic energy production.”
“What ESG says is ‘no we’re not going to do, even if it would do a better return, we’re not going to allow you to invest in certain areas,’” DeSantis said, explaining that ESG is “constricting the ability of people to invest your money and that means you’re not going to do as well as you could have.”
“Some people say that you do better with this, but that doesn’t make any sense,” he added.
Last year, DeSantis suggested the conservative states join together to take action, essentially restricting the use of ESG in state pension funds.
“Tucker, we’d have over a trillion dollars in assets between just the red states,” DeSantis said during a July 2022 appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight:
That would make a difference when you’re talking about that so we would be able to check a lot of these ESG votes that are going on throughout corporate America. So, I would urge all of my fellow governors around the country…Republican or Democrat, let’s band together and let’s fight back against this so we can keep power to the people
Florida is not the only state seeking to take action in this area, as Heritage Action and Indiana state Rep. Ethan Manning (R) are urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would stop those managing Indiana’s pension fund from promoting woke ESG goals as well.
Manning told Breitbart News:
HB 1008 is and has always been a common-sense solution to ensuring Indiana’s pensions are invested and shares voted according to financial reasons only, not to advance a political agenda. What we are now seeing are the asset managers operating behind the scenes to try and threaten to not do business with INPRS if they are forced to prioritize financial criteria and uphold their fiduciary responsibility. Their threats alone prove that there is a clear problem with asset managers pushing a political agenda and that HB 1008 will be an effective solution to protect Hoosier investments.
WATCH DeSantis’s presser below: