• 25 states hit Biden admin with lawsuit over climate action targeting Am

    From Johnny@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jan 26 15:13:47 2023
    By Thomas Catenacci
    Published January 26, 2023

    A group of 25 states on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the
    Biden administration, arguing a recent rule allowing retirement plan
    managers to factor environmental and social issues into investment
    decisions violated the law.

    The lawsuit — led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and joined by 24
    other states including Louisiana, Texas and Virginia — challenges a Department of Labor (DOL) rule unveiled in November and which is set to
    go into effect on Jan. 30. The rule would open the door for fiduciaries
    to factor so-called environment, social and governance (ESG)
    considerations into Americans' retirement accounts, an action the
    states argued could significantly harm the financial interests of
    customers.

    "The Biden administration is promoting its climate change agenda by
    putting everyday people’s retirement money at risk," Reyes told FOX
    Business in a statement.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/25-states-hit-biden-admin-lawsuit-climate-action-targeting-americans-retirement-savings

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  • From ESG is terrorism@21:1/5 to All on Sun Mar 5 21:14:27 2023
    XPost: alt.politics.economics, sac.politics, talk.politics.guns
    XPost: utah.general

    FIRST ON FOX: A group of 25 states on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit
    against the Biden administration, arguing a recent rule allowing
    retirement plan managers to factor environmental and social issues into investment decisions violated the law.

    The lawsuit led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and joined by 24
    other states including Louisiana, Texas and Virginia challenges a
    Department of Labor (DOL) rule unveiled in November and which is set to go
    into effect on Jan. 30. The rule would open the door for fiduciaries to
    factor so-called environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations
    into Americans' retirement accounts, an action the states argued could significantly harm the financial interests of customers.

    "The Biden administration is promoting its climate change agenda by
    putting everyday peoples retirement money at risk," Reyes told FOX
    Business in a statement. "Americans are already suffering from the current economic downturn."

    "Permitting asset managers to direct hard-working Americans money to ESG investments puts trillions of dollars of retirement savings at risk in
    exchange for someone elses political agenda," he continued. "We are
    acting with urgency on this case because this illegal rule is set to take effect next week. It must be stopped."

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    The two dozen states filed the challenge in a federal district court in
    Texas and asked the court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the DOL
    from implementing the rule until a ruling had been issued in the case.

    In the lawsuit, the states allege that the DOL violated the Employee
    Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. The law safeguards the retirement income of 152 million U.S. workers, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the nation's adult population, and covers roughly $12
    trillion in assets.

    LOUISIANA DIVESTS FROM BLACKROCK OVER ESG POLICIES: 'WOULD DESTROY
    LOUISIANAS ECONOMY'

    The states noted that ERISA requires retirement plan assets to be held for
    the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants in the plan
    and that the fiduciaries must act solely in the interest of said
    participants. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that such "benefits"
    are defined as "financial benefits."

    After announcing the rule on Nov. 22, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said the
    move would "help plan participants make the most of their retirement
    benefits." DOL Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Lisa
    Gomez added that climate change and ESG factors were important for
    investors.

    "This is about protecting retirees in Louisiana and the rest of the
    country," Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told FOX Business. "Investments should be made using sound economic principles, not woke
    policies. These firms have a responsibility to invest with their client's
    best financial interests in mind rather than Bidens disastrous agenda."

    Liberty Energy CEO Chris Wright, a private plaintiff in the case, added
    that his company was suing because the regulation "makes it harder to
    protect our workers retirement security and impedes investing in our
    industry and its ability to provide reliable and affordable energy to our communities."

    "This rule is an affront to every American concerned about their
    retirement account," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement
    to FOX Business. "The fact that the Biden Administration is now opting to
    risk the financial security of working-class Americans to advance a woke political agenda is insulting and illegal."

    "For generations, federal law has required that fiduciaries place their clients financial interests at the forefront, and I intend to fight the
    Biden Administration in court to ensure that they cannot put hard-working Americans retirement savings at risk," he added

    TEXAS SUBPOENAS BLACKROCK FOR DOCUMENTS RELATED TO ESG PUSH

    Over the past few years, massive asset managers and financial institutions
    have increasingly focused on prioritizing ESG factors when making key investment decisions. They have particularly set their sights on investing
    in companies based on those companies' efforts to combat climate change
    and curb their carbon footprints.

    Companies like BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, which collectively
    manage trillions of dollars in assets, have taken lead roles in the ESG movement.

    In response to the growing movement, Republican state attorneys general
    and financial officers have fought back, canceling contracts with the
    firms and threatening legal action over how they handle customers'
    investments.

    "Everyday Americans are having their investment dollars used against them
    as those in power favor a political agenda over financial returns," Derek Kreifels, CEO of the State Financial Officers Foundation, a group that has organized state and local opposition to the ESG movement, told FOX
    Business. "It is the actions like that of these attorneys general that
    will ensure Americans are safe from activist-investors and progressive
    elites who would rather focus on politics than upholding their fiduciary
    duty."

    "Leaders at the state level, from treasurers to attorneys general, are
    sending a message to Wall Street and the administrative state that we will refuse to allow the American people to be taken advantage of and we will continue to fight to ensure their hard-earned dollars arent being used to
    push an agenda that runs counter to our values," Kreifels said.

    Will Hild, executive director of consumer group Consumers Research, also applauded the challenge, saying it was a significant action against the
    "lefts woke agenda."

    "Attorney General Reyes is leading the way, highlighting how dangerous ESG
    is and why it is important for the states to stop [BlackRock CEO] Larry
    Fink and his ESG elitist friends from playing politics with the
    investments and retirements of hard-working Americans," Hild told FOX
    Business.

    "As Americas oldest consumer protection agency, we will continue to
    support state officials in their efforts to protect the American people
    from the dangers of ESG and companies that are choosing politics over
    profits."

    In addition to Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
    Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming all joined the
    lawsuit against the administration.

    The Department of Labor didn't immediately respond to a request for
    comment.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/25-states-hit-biden-admin-lawsuit- climate-action-targeting-americans-retirement-savings

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