By Harold Hutchison
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Wednesday that so-called Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and climate regulations from the Biden administration posed a threat to the entire U.S. economy.
ESG, also known as “sustainable investing,” according to the Corporate Finance Institute, can factor in corporate policies on gun control, environmental issues, abortion or other issues in addition to or instead of strictly looking at a corporation’s profitability.
“ESGs by itself just could kill our whole economy,” Manchin said in a brief interview on “Special Report.” “Could kill our whole economy as far as in America basically.”
Manchin and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana voted with 48 Republicans to overturn regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November that would allow the use of ESG by retirement fund managers. The House of Representatives voted to scrap the rule Tuesday, but the bill faces a veto threat from President Joe Biden.
Biden, who promised to phase out fossil fuels during his 2020 campaign for president, issued a series of executive orders in July to address the alleged threat from climate change. Biden also cancelled offshore oil and gas leases in May, imposed new regulations on onshore drilling in April and revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2021.
Critics of ESG pointed to crises in Sri Lanka, which banned chemical fertilizers that resulted in a 50% drop in crop yields in 2021, and Ghana, which suffered blackouts.
Missouri announced it was pulling all assets from BlackRock Oct. 18, claiming the company’s push for ESG was a “massive fiduciary breach,” while Florida yanked $2 billion from BlackRock in December over the company’s push for ESG. Four other states announced they were pulling their assets, the Financial Times reported in October.
Harold Hutchison is a contributor at The Daily Caller.
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