While other red state officials do their best to divest from woke companies like Disney and get rid of funds from woke investment giant Blackrock, one red state is taking it farther than the rest and is suing Blackrock over its ESG (Environmental, Sustainability, and Governance) priorities. That state is Tennessee, and its Attorney General just announced the monumental move.
There, the attorney general’s office just announced that it has decided to take action on behalf of Tennesseans by suing Blackrock over its ESG push, arguing that the representations it made around its investment strategies were false or misleading, as they were tainted with its ESG bias.
In a statement on the matter and why he has decided to take legal action against Blackrock, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti told FOX Business, “We allege that BlackRock’s inconsistent statements about its investment strategies deprived consumers of the ability to make an informed choice.”
Continuing, he argued that the suit is necessary to ensure Tennessee consumers are treated with fairness and honesty from big corporations, saying, “Some public statements show a company that focuses exclusively on return on investment, others show a company that gives special consideration to environmental factors. Ultimately, I want to make certain that corporations, no matter their size, treat Tennessee consumers fairly and honestly.”
Explaining the main problem at issue, the AG’s office noted in a press release ont he matter that Blackrock had committed itself to certain policies that are potentially not in the best financial interests of the companies it holds shares of for customers but that it does not inform those holding its funds of those considerations.
“It should be noted that the firm explains many of its shareholder votes are intended to align companies with the aforementioned “net zero” goals. Yet BlackRock’s disclosures do not mention such promises. In fact, BlackRock has told consumers elsewhere that the only consideration driving its investment decisions is return on investment,” the press release said.
Continuing, it went on to describe why that is a major problem and one that might land Blackrock in legal trouble, saying, “Thus, BlackRock has articulated two inconsistent positions: one focusing solely on money and the other focusing on environmental impact. Tennessee consumers deserve to know which of BlackRock’s statements are a true account of the company’s decision-making. This enforcement action seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and recoupment of the State’s costs.”
The lawsuit itself describes those issues as well, alleging, “BlackRock has admitted that promoting ESG aims — like companies’ radically reducing their carbon output — can conflict with its funds’ financial performance. It is thus only fair that consumers know if the hard-earned funds they invest will be leveraged to BlackRock’s ESG ends, rather than to maximizing financial returns.”
Continuing, the lawsuit alleges, “Yet for years, BlackRock has misled consumers about the scope and effects of its widespread ESG activity. BlackRock’s conduct concerning the marketing or sale of its investment products and services constitutes deceptive acts and practices under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.”
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