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Texas targets financial companies boycotting oil
Pension funds must divest from firms ‘working to undermine state’s economic health’
The Asset 29 Aug 2022

The comptroller’s office of the US state of Texas, the country’s largest producer of oil and gas, has published an initial list of 10 financial companies that it says are boycotting energy companies and as a result are subject to divestment provisions outlined in a state law.

The law, the Texas Government Code Chapter 809 passed in 2021, defines a financial company as a publicly traded financial services, banking or investment company. The publication of the list follows an exhaustive period of research and process development, states the comptroller’s office, which has also conducted research on individual investment funds, generating a list of nearly 350 that are subject to the same provisions as the companies.

Among the companies on the list that are subject to divestment are BlackRock, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Danske Bank, Jupiter Fund Management, Nordea Bank, Schroders and UBS.

State governmental entities subject to the investment prohibitions and divestment requirements in the statute include the Employees Retirement System of Texas, Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Texas Municipal Retirement System, Texas County and District Retirement System, Texas Emergency Services Retirement System and the Permanent School Fund.

“This list represents our initial effort to shine a light on entities that are engaging in these practices and create some clarity for Texans whose tax dollars may be working to directly undermine our state’s economic health,” Texas comptroller Glenn Hegar says. “A diverse energy portfolio is necessary for Texas to meet our future energy needs, and a vibrant Texas oil and gas industry is a stabilizing force in today’s economic and geopolitical environment.

“My greatest concern is the false narrative that has been created by the environmental crusaders in Washington, DC, and Wall Street that our economy can completely transition away from fossil fuels, when, in fact, they will be part of our everyday life into the foreseeable future,” Hegar adds. “A complete divestment of the industry is not only impractical and illogical but runs counter to the economic well-being of Texas and our citizens.”

 

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