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Texas Strikes Back At The Anti-Fossil Fuel Lobby

As a growing number of Wall Street banks and virtually all major asset managers declare their shift away from fossil fuel investments, the Texas Senate is striking back with a bill proposing that the state’s investment funds exit all companies “boycotting” oil and gas.

The Texas Tribune reports that the bill, proposed by five Republican Senators, covers state entities such as the $46-billion Texas Permanent School Fund, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, and the Texas Municipal Retirement System of Texas. Both of these have some $31 billion under management.

If passed, all these entities and more will be obliged to exit companies that “refuse to deal with, terminating business activities with, or otherwise taking any action that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with a company” because this company is involved in oil exploration and production.

The bill also makes a provision that no business or individual could sue the state entities for divesting from companies that refuse to invest in the fossil fuel industry.

Already six of the largest U.S. lenders have made official commitments to work towards accomplishing the goals set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These commitments essentially come down to the banks saying they would aim to become net-zero in terms of the projects they finance over a certain period of time.

This means huge divestments from oil and gas may be on the way, which has naturally raised oil and gas hackles. The banks are hazy on the details generally. There is talk about curbing exposure to oil and gas and boosting exposure to clean energy projects, but some feel that this is not enough, and Wall Street should pledge a full exit from oil and gas.

According to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the bill, which also includes a stipulation for forced divestment, should pass easily.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Kris Poole on March 16 2021 said:
    @Arch Region,
    What is really shameful, that people like you, and many of the same ilk "climate holocaust lobby" alarmists, trying to push this non-sense, using "experts" like Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Soros, Koch Brothers, or 365.org. There was/is no crisis, and therefore these so called experts in bed with few politicians of unknown stripes had to create crisis, and in the process they have created jobs for themselves and for few of their ilk forever. Politicians are good at spending ONLY other people money, however in this case the Texas Senate is trying to bring some sanity to the market place by saying, if you are doing business in Texas you have to support all our businesses and you cannot discriminate against our great Oil & Gas companies based on some climate alarmists like Extinction Rebellion or Greta Thunberg, globalists agenda.
    Finally these senators are doing something for the people of Texas setting up the hard guidelines, how the investment business should be done in Texas. Bravo Texas.
  • Carl Cantaloupe on March 12 2021 said:
    So, Texas deregulated their electric grid in order to promote a market ideology. Now they are threatening to punish companies for investing as they see fit in the market for fossil fuels. Clearly this has nothing to do with markets. If a market ideology promotes the power of existing wealth, they promote the market. If government regulations (or threats) promotes the power of existing wealth, they promote regulation. Politician's promote whatever prevents economic change, because change causes risk, and risk raises costs and reduces profits. If there is one sure way to cause the collapse of our economy, it is to always make political decisions that prevent change, externalize risks on to those last able to absorb them, and protect the profits of the wealthy over the fair competition that promotes the general welfare.
  • Matthias Amrein on March 12 2021 said:
    Not sure how happy all the public employees will be as their retirement looks increasingly bleak with their forced investments in O&G while everybody else gets rich on renewables.
  • Arch Region on March 12 2021 said:
    "The Texas Tribune reports that the bill, proposed by five Republican Senators, covers state entities such as the $46-billion Texas Permanent School Fund, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, and the Texas Municipal Retirement System of Texas. Both of these have some $31 billion under management."

    This is shameful.

    A bunch of corrupt politicians endangering other people's pension funds to score points with the fossil fuel underwriters of their political campaigns. This is on the same date that a new study came out declaring fossil fuels are wildly more expensive than previously thought.
    https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjpqyw/fossil-fuels-are-wildly-more-expensive-than-previously-thought-study-says

    After reading this story I bought ear plugs because when the fossil fuel balloon pops, ears will bleed. The politicians have no skin in the game. It is other people's money they are gambling with. What the title of the article calls the "Anti-Fossil Fuel Lobby", is really the "Anti-Climate Holocaust Deniers Lobby" or more precisely the "Pro-life lobby".
  • Paul Smith on March 12 2021 said:
    Hmm. Sign of desperation.

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