Ron DeSantis Leads 18 States in Alliance Fighting Biden’s ESG

Ron DeSantis
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), along with the governors of 18 other states, is taking action against President Joe Biden’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) agenda.

DeSantis, along with the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming are forming what they have described as an “alliance” pushing back against Biden’s radical ESG agenda — a leftist form of activism used to influence corporations and Wall Street to consider partisan political positions unrelated to their actual businesses or organizations in their decision-making or investment actions. 

The joint statement reads:

The proliferation of ESG throughout America is a direct threat to the American economy, individual economic freedom, and our way of life, putting investment decisions in the hands of the woke mob to bypass the ballot box and inject political ideology into investment decisions, corporate governance, and the everyday economy.

“We as freedom loving states can work together and leverage our state pension funds to force change in how major asset managers invest the money of hardworking Americans,” it also states, adding, “ensuring corporations are focused on maximizing shareholder value, rather than the proliferation of woke ideology.”

DeSantis said in a statement, “At my direction, Florida has led the way in combatting the pernicious effects of the ESG regime by directing our state pension fund managers to reject ESG and instead focus on obtaining the highest return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees.” 

He continued:

At the time I said we would spearhead an initiative to join with other like-minded states to send an even louder message to the financial industry that the American people have rejected ESG at the ballot box, and ideologues cannot and should not circumnavigate the will of the people. Today, we have delivered on that promise. Florida has emerged as America’s economic engine, with an unemployment rate consistently lower than the nation’s and the highest rate of business formations of any other state. We will not stand idly by as the stability of our country’s economy is threatened by woke executives who put their political agenda ahead of their clients’ finances.”

This effort comes on the heels of DeSantis calling for legislation addressing ESG and ending woke banking and “political ideology” in investment decisions.

“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, noting ESG is essentially “constricting the ability of people to invest your money and that means you’re not going to do as well as you could have.”

That proposed legislation, specifically, would stop the financial sector from considering “Social Credit Scores” in banking and “prohibiting the use of ESG in all investment decisions at the state and local level,” according to the press release.

This month, the advocacy group Consumers’ Research sent a letter and report to congressional leaders, sounding the alarm on ESG, which the group said represents a “grave menace to America.”

Will Hild, Consumers’ Research executive director described ESG as the “weaponization of America’s investments against its own citizenry”:

 Against their freedoms. Against their jobs. Against their retirements. Against their pocketbooks. Against their national security. It undercuts democratic rule. It aids communist dictators and petty tyrants alike. It concentrates power into the hands of a tiny group of Wall Street managers who were not elected, lack any accountability to the people, and routinely make it clear they resent any restriction on their power to set policy.

Congress recently passed a resolution nixing Biden’s ESG agenda –Senate Democrats Jon Tester (D-MT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted with Republicans — but Biden has indicated he will veto the measure.


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