Fighting Back Against ESG Efforts to Destroy the Texas Economy

August 25, 2022

AUSTIN – Texas is leading the fight to curb the expansion of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement, a woke investment strategy that places a priority on subjective environmental and social metrics instead of financial metrics that ensure quality returns for investors. It is estimated that ESG has taken 90% of investments off the table for reliable energy over the last five years. 

Since taking office in 2017, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian has met with dozens of business leaders who have expressed concern that ESG could put an end to the oil and gas industry in Texas. In response, Christian passed an Anti-ESG resolution at the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and championed the passage of Texas’ new regulations on ESG last session (Birdwell/King).

Christian also sent a letter and personally met with BlackRock leaders demanding answers to their ESG practices, their impact on oil and gas and potential legal concerns.

The Chairman sent a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) regarding concerns of ERS’ proxy votes on net-zero financing proposals, and he sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) vehemently opposing their proposed climate-related disclosure rules for businesses seeking to governmentally standardize ESG investment rules.

“Your retirement account is just collateral damage to radical environmentalists who are leveraging ESG investment strategies to defund the oil and gas industry,” said Christian. “Texas is where ESG extremists will meet their match. We are sending a clear message to Wall Street: If you boycott Texas oil and gas, we boycott you.”

This week, Chairman Bryan Hughes of the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs sent investigatory letters to four major Wall Street firms (BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors, the Vanguard Group and Institutional Shareholder Services) to determine whether these firms are using ESG principles that impact state retirement funds.

Additionally, Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar released his list of financial companies that boycott energy companies and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched the first investigation by a state attorneys general into an ESG ratings company for alleged consumer fraud and unfair trade practices.

“I’m thrilled to see my conservative colleagues join the defense against ‘woke’ Wall Street bankers,” continued Christian. “Rally the troops: Here in Texas is where we will draw the line against ESG’s detrimental impact on oil and gas.”

A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven Sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Commissioner Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.


About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.