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Texas Tells Private Companies to Invest in Fossil Fuels or Else

The Texas Permanent School Fund Moves to Terminate Its Relationship With BlackRock in Latest Attack on ESG Policies

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is forcing private companies to subsidize the dirty energy industry, Public Citizen said today in response to the Permanent School Fund (PSF) notifying BlackRock that it would terminate its business with the financial firm.

In a letter, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) chair informed BlackRock it was withdrawing about $8 billion in investments to comply with Senate Bill 13. The legislation, signed into law in 2021, bars the SBOE-administered fund – which supports the state’s public schools – from doing business with financial firms that “boycott” the fossil fuel industry. State lawmakers have gone on the attack against private companies that consider environmental, social, and governance issues when making business decisions. Though BlackRock denies engaging in a boycott, the Texas Comptroller lists the company as out of compliance with SB 13.

Adrian Shelley, Texas director of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:

“It’s apparently not enough that the state’s powerful fossil fuel interests already get millions in tax subsidies and all sorts of regulatory breaks from the state’s industry-friendly leadership, all while getting away with slaps on the wrist as punishment for pollution. The state is essentially saying private companies must invest in fossil fuels to do business with the state. It’s injecting strong-arm political tactics into a fund that benefits public schools.”