The push to boycott oil and gas companies, including demands for financial institutions to defund Big Oil, continues to grow. The Congressional Progressive Caucus is calling for Biden to declare a national climate emergency, invoke the defense production act to increase renewable energy, end fossil fuel subsidies and reinstate crude oil export ban, and strengthen clean air and water protections. In Texas, the energy capitol of the world, those demands aren’t going to fly.
Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent letters to 19 financial institutions this week questioning if they are violating a new state law, Senate Bill 13, that prohibits companies from divesting from fossil fuel companies. It is a no-boycotting bill. SB13 went into effect last September. It prohibits the State of Texas from contracting with or investing in “companies that divest from oil, natural gas and coal companies. The law defines divestment as refusing to do business with a fossil fuel company because that company does not commit to environmental standards higher than expected by federal and state law.” Financial institutions that succumb to pressure from the Green New Deal cult will be punished for their role in defunding the oil and gas industry. Hegar explained to the Texas Tribune that the financial institutions want to play both sides of the issue.
Firms that received a letter include US-based companies, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Company, and foreign companies like Jupiter Fund Management PLC and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Man Group PLC declined to comment for this story. Other companies Hegar contacted—BlackRock, Inc.; NatWest Group PLC — did not respond to The Texas Tribune’s requests for comment.
“Our research thus far shows that some companies are telling us and other energy-producing states one thing, and then turning around and telling their liberal clients in other states another thing,” Hegar said in a press release Wednesday. “On one hand, they push net-zero and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and use their influence and the dollars under their management to limit access to capital for Texas oil and gas firms. Then these same firms tell Texas and other energy states that they’re committed to the fossil fuel sector.”
Never let a crisis go to waste. That advice issued by the current Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, in his Clinton administration days, holds true today for the keep-it-in-the-ground extremists. The fact is, energy companies have been developing and using clean fuel technology for years. American oil and gas products are among the cleanest in the world.
The Texas Legislature passed SB13 which is now in effect. Hegar’s office is compiling a list of companies that boycott fossil fuel energy. Letters went out to the first nineteen companies on Wednesday and the list is expected to grow to one hundred companies. Hegar asks companies about its policies on environmental standards – are they stricter than state and federal requirements, and if so, how are they enforced? Hegar also asked companies for a list of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that “limit or don’t allow investment in fossil fuels.”
The companies have 60 days to respond. If they fail to do so, they will be assumed to be in violation of SB 13. Boycotting fossil fuel companies will result in existing contracts with the State of Texas to be canceled, as well as Texas pension funds divesting from them.
The extreme left is completely out of touch with normal Americans. An all-of-the-above approach to energy exploration and production is the only rational way to go. Alternative energy sources like wind and solar are being developed but they are nowhere near able to handle today’s energy demands. There will always be a place for fossil fuels in energy production, which seems to escape those who dream of killing off the fossil fuel sector. Do they understand how electricity is made?
Nevertheless, the lunacy continues. The Biden administration wants to pin the rising cost of gas on Putin but the truth is that the price of filling up your gas tank has been rising for over a year. It isn’t a coincidence that this has happened as Biden came into office. The pandemic can be blamed on a decrease in the need for fuel and shortages once people began going back to work but to point to 9,000 leases not in use as Jen Psaki does is not a reasonable answer. Oil and gas companies purchase leases but that is just the first step. Permits sometimes take years. The oil and gas industry is the most regulated of all. Why would they invest billions of dollars only to be shut down by Team Biden and its fanatical climate change bureaucrats? Biden is on record as saying he wants to put the fossil fuel industry out of business.
The Hollywood left like to get in on the action and call for defunding Big Oil. There is a pipeline in Canada that is financed by The Royal Bank of Canada that is now under fire from the coastal elites.
John Kerry, Biden’s climate change envoy, went so far as to whine that he hopes that Putin’s invasion into Ukraine doesn’t distract him from doing whatever it is that he is doing on climate change. Good Lord.
In the meantime, Texas officials are doing what they can to limit the insanity. The financial institutions can’t have it both ways. Defunding Big Oil is not the way to go.