Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., this week fixed a full of life protection of giant funding corporations’ proper to imagine environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements when comparing their funding choices. But a conservative ethics watchdog is looking out the Democratic chief for being the highest marketing campaign donation recipient from BlackRock — one of the vital main advocates of sustainable making an investment.
The American Accountability Foundation (AAF), which opposes ESG, slammed Schumer for taking company America’s aspect in opposition to a Republican-led effort to kill a Biden management Department of Labor rule that may have inspired personal retirement plan fiduciaries to imagine ESG elements when making funding choices for over 150 million Americans.
The team famous that Schumer, whose son-in-law, Michael Shapiro, works as a lobbyist for BlackRock, was once the highest recipient of marketing campaign donations from the Wall Street company within the remaining election cycle. In 2022, Schumer gained a complete of $113,950 from BlackRock, together with $103,950 from folks tied to the New York-based world funding company and $10,000 from its affiliated political motion committee, in line with OpenSecrets.org.
BlackRock is an unapologetic recommend for ESG, which has come beneath fireplace from Republican politicians who’ve accused firms of going “woke” via basing funding choices on local weather have an effect on, range, or different elements they go along with a liberal time table.
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“Chuck Schumer’s enthusiasm for ESG is no surprise given his tight connections with corporate America, and all the money he’s taking from ESG heavyweight BlackRock,” stated AAF President Tom Jones.
The Senate majority chief led his birthday celebration towards the disapproval answer that squashed the Biden management’s Labor Department rule on Wednesday.
“ESG is global corporations’ war on the American dream and Schumer has sided with them over the American people,” Jones stated.
Schumer’s administrative center didn’t reply to a request for remark.
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In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal printed Tuesday, and in next remarks at the Senate flooring Wednesday, Schumer accused GOP lawmakers of adopting an anti-free marketplace place, arguing that funding corporations will have to be accredited to imagine ESG elements in the event that they so want.
“ESG opponents are trying to turn it into a dirty acronym, deploying attacks they have long used for elements of a so-called woke agenda. They call ESG wokeness. They call it a cult. They call it an incursion into free markets,” Schumer wrote. “We’ve heard it all before. I say ESG is just common sense.”
He argued that ESG isn’t a question of “ideological preference,” and wrote, “investors and asset managers increasingly recognize that maximizing returns requires looking at the full range of risks to any investment—including the financial risks presented by increasingly volatile natural disasters, aging populations and other threats that the public doesn’t normally associate with financial modeling.”
Schumer stated that via going after ESG, self-claimed free-market Republicans are “forcing their own views down the throats of every company and investor,” fairly than letting the marketplace serve as.
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But conservative teams like AAF view the topic another way. In a up to date file at the proxy advisory company Glass Lewis, AAF researchers contended that ESG insurance policies “threaten corporate competitiveness and erode shareholder value.” They cited as examples insurance policies together with company board range quotas, racial/gender fairness audits, greenhouse fuel emissions goals and disclosures on political spending and non-profit or industry affiliation affiliations.
AAF contends those efforts “promote ideological bullying and encourage activists to shame individuals and companies that support conservative groups and causes.”
“Companies like Glass Lewis and BlackRock should be working to maximize shareholder value, not using their power to implement the Democrat Party’s agenda,” Jones stated.
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Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have made the similar argument. In his new ebook, “The Courage to be Free,” DeSantis writes that the rage of firms getting into “culture wars” is being pushed via left-wing corporate workers pressuring their executives to replicate their political values and “woke” CEOs the usage of their company bully pulpit to exert their affect.
“ESG provides a pretext for CEOs to use shareholder assets to target issues like reducing the use of fossil fuels and restricting Second Amendment rights. It is, in effect, a way for the political left to achieve through corporate power what they cannot achieve at the ballot box,” DeSantis wrote.
Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this file.