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Don't Mess With Texas: BlackRock Confirms Its Support For Oil And Gas

BlackRock will continue to invest in oil and gas firms and is not boycotting the energy industry, the world’s biggest asset manager has said in a letter sent to Texas officials and trade groups after the top U.S. oil-producing state started considering dropping investors that it thinks are boycotting its energy industry.

“We will continue to invest in and support fossil fuel companies, including Texas fossil fuel companies,” executives at BlackRock wrote in a letter, which a spokesperson for the asset manager confirmed to Reuters was sent to Texas stakeholders earlier this year.  

Texas has passed a new law relating to state contracts with and investments in certain companies that boycott energy companies.

BlackRock has never said it would discontinue investments in fossil fuels, but it now has to balance the message to Texas, following the asset manager’s increased focus on ESG.

Last month, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent a letter to Comptroller Glenn Hegar “asking him to place BlackRock at the top of the list of financial companies that boycott the Texas oil & gas industry under Senate Bill 13, the Oil & Gas Investment Protection Act.”

“As you prepare the official list of companies that boycott energy companies, I ask that you include BlackRock, and any company like them, that choose to hurt Texas oil and gas energy companies by boycotting them in violation of Senate Bill 13. As I have stated before, if Wall Street turns their back on Texas and our thriving oil and gas industry, then Texas will not do business with Wall Street,” Patrick wrote.

In the letter BlackRock sent to Texas officials, it said that “we have not and will not boycott energy companies,” noting it has investments in companies with headquarters in Texas such as Exxon, Kinder Morgan, and ConocoPhillips, Reuters reports.  

In his annual 2022 letter to CEOs, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink wrote early this year that “Divesting from entire sectors – or simply passing carbon-intensive assets from public markets to private markets – will not get the world to net zero.”

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“And BlackRock does not pursue divestment from oil and gas companies as a policy,” Fink said.

By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com

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