Oklahoma says 13 major financial institutions are boycotting the oil and gas industry


Oklahoma’s state treasurer has issued a list of 13 financial institutions that he says are boycotting Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry and shouldn’t be allowed to do business with the state.

Last year, lawmakers targeted financial institutions and investment managers with environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies that limit the companies’ involvement with oil and gas companies. Basically, if a big bank refuses to do business with someone whose primary business is the fossil fuel industry, Oklahoma won’t do business with the big bank.

Which companies are on the list?

The 13 companies Treasurer Todd Russ identified that met the state’s definition of an oil and gas boycott or did not reply to his questionnaire include:

  • Blackrock
  • Wells Fargo and Co.
  • JPMorgan Chase and Co.
  • Bank of America Corp.
  • State Street Corp.
  • Grosvenor Capital Management
  • Lexington Partners
  • FirstMark Fund Partners LLC
  • Touchstone VC Global Partners
  • WCM Investment Management
  • William Blair
  • Actis LLP
  • Climate First Bank

What happens next?

State agencies with assets managed by any of these companies, or agencies that contract with these companies in any way must now divest at least half of those assets within six months. All assets must be divested within a year. The law includes several exemptions that would allow an agency to avoid divesting, including when doing so would result in lost value of those assets.

“The energy sector is crucial to Oklahoma’s economy, providing jobs for our residents and helping drive economic growth,” Russ said. “It is essential for us to work with financial institutions that are focused on free-market principles and not beholden to social goals that override their fiduciary duties.”

Investment management company Blackrock met with Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday. The next morning, when asked what he and Blackrock representatives talked about, Stitt said this:

“BlackRock doesn’t want to turn into the next Bud Light, that’s for sure,” Stitt said, referring to conservative anger over a Bud Light promotion featuring influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who is transgender. “What we said is, as soon as you stop attacking the oil and gas industry, as soon as you stop pushing a political agenda with our pension funds, we’re happy to do business with you.”

Source: Oklahoman.com

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