House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to Examine Damaging ESG Practices with Attorneys General

Originally published May 4, 2023 2:00 am PDT

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, chaired by James Comer (R-KY), has announced a hearing titled “ESG Part I: An Examination of Environmental, Social, and Governance Practices with Attorneys General,” according to a Wednesday press release.

The full committee hearing will explore the concerns of state attorneys general regarding the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards by asset managers and how these principles are being used by activist shareholders to shape corporate behavior.

Chairman Comer stated, “ESG principles have become a progressive scheme pushed by radical left-wing groups to pressure large and small businesses to adopt policies that routinely undermine performance.”

He further emphasized that such “damaging” ESG practices “directly harm Americans’ savings and disincentivize investment in America’s essential domestic production capacity.”

The hearing, scheduled for 10:00 AM ET on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in the Rayburn House Office Building, will feature testimonies from the Honorable Sean Reyes, Attorney General of Utah, and the Honorable Steve Marshall, Attorney General of Alabama.

This event comes after 21 state attorneys general warned top asset management firms in March 2023 about using Americans’ savings to push political goals.

According to Comer, “Unchecked activists now believe they are running the show and policymakers have been pushed to the side.”

This hearing is set to be the first in a series that will examine the consequences of ESG priorities.

Comer added, “I look forward to hearing from the attorneys general, who have raised significant concerns over ESG practices at the state-level.”

On Wednesday, Oklahoma is set to ban 13 major financial institutions from conducting business with the state, following a review that found these banks participated in ESG-related energy boycotts.

Ultimately, this move will prevent the banks from managing billions of dollars in Oklahoma pensions, investments, and other state-related entities.

Oklahoma State Treasurer Todd Russ emphasized, “The energy sector is crucial to Oklahoma’s economy, providing jobs for our residents and helping drive economic growth,” adding that “It is essential for us to work with financial institutions that are focused on free-market principles and not beholden to social goals that override their fiduciary duties.”