Kentucky Puts Energy-Boycotting ESG-Loving Companies On Notice

From  Townhall

By Spencer Brown, January 03, 2023

In addition to joining investigations against companies over their use of ESG in attempts to “decarbonize” the global economy and fighting to keep woke asset management firms from scooping up shares of publicly traded utilities, Kentucky is putting the companies that boycott reliable and affordable energy on notice. 

On Tuesday, Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball named 11 such financial companies currently boycotting energy companies, following the passage of a 2022 law that directed Ball’s office to publish a list of companies actively engaged in energy boycotts, which then puts said companies on a path toward divestment by the Commonwealth.

Tuesday’s notice is just the latest step in Ball’s leadership against ESG policies that put political aims before financial success.

“When companies boycott fossil fuels, they intentionally choke off the lifeblood of capital to Kentucky’s signature industries,” Treasurer Ball explained in a statement. “Traditional energy sources fuel our Kentucky economy, provide much needed jobs, and warm our homes. Kentucky must not allow our signature industries to be irreparably damaged based upon the ideological whims of a select few,” Ball warned. 

As Treasurer Ball’s office noted, Kentucky’s energy sector makes up 7.8 percent of total state employment, or nearly 144,000 jobs.

It also accounts for close to 95 percent of the Bluegrass State’s power generation used by more than half of residents to heat their homes.

Still, the Office of the Treasurer noted that Kentucky boasts the 12th-lowest average electric prices in the United States. 

The updated list of companies engaged in energy boycotts was based on “careful review of publicly available statements and commitments made by the companies” and includes the following entities:

  • BlackRock, Inc.
  • BNP Paribas SA
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • Climate First Bank
  • Dankse Bank A/S
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Nordea Bank ABP
  • Schroders PLC
  • Svenska Handelsbanken AB
  • Swedbank AB.

Those institutions are now considered “Restricted Financial Institutions” under Kentucky law, and state government entities now have 30 days in which they must notify Treasurer Ball’s office of any direct or indirect holdings owned by the government and submit a written notice to the restricted institution.

Within 90 days of that notice, the restricted institution is required to end its energy boycott if it wants to avoid becoming subject to divestment.