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DeSantis to unveil alliance with 18 states to combat Biden's 'woke' ESG agenda

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 3/15/2023 Ryan King

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is expected to announce an alliance with 18 states Thursday. The group aims to "push back against President Biden’s environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda."

Each of the states is expected to commit to initiating "state-level efforts to protect individuals from the ESG movement" and contemplating measures such as stripping state pension funds and investments from companies that follow the environmental, social, and governance model, according to a press release previewed by the Washington Examiner.


“At my direction, Florida has led the way in combating 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,” DeSantis said in the previewed release.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd as he attends an event Friday, March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. Ron Johnson/AP © Provided by Washington Examiner Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd as he attends an event Friday, March 10, 2023, in Davenport, Iowa. Ron Johnson/AP

The anti-ESG alliance will include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, according to DeSantis's office.

"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," a draft letter expected to be signed by the states reads.

Under ESG policies, firms typically push for companies to seek environmental sustainability and heightened diversity. A cacophony of conservatives has railed against ESG, decrying it as a distraction from focus on business endeavors.

Recently, a Republican-backed bill to roll back a Labor Department rule enabling retirement plans to weigh ESG factors in investment decisions cleared both chambers of Congress. The president is expected to veto the measure. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) backed the move.

"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," DeSantis added. "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.”

In February, DeSantis announced a proposal to safeguard Floridians from ESG by restricting institutions from "discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs," among other measures.


The Biden administration has argued that retirees and investors should be allowed to make their own decisions and has blasted Republicans for seeking to scrap the Labor Department's ESG rule.

"It forces MAGA Republicans' ideology down the throats of the private sector and handcuffing investors as well. The bill would bar fiduciaries from considering significant risks like extreme climate threats and poor corporate governance when they make investment decisions," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters earlier this month.


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Tags: ESG, News, Ron DeSantis, Joe Biden, Republican

Original Author: Ryan King

Original Location: DeSantis to unveil alliance with 18 states to combat Biden's 'woke' ESG agenda


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