TEXAS — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has sent a letter to 19 investment companies demanding to know which of them “may be boycotting the fossil fuel industry.”
Among the companies Hegar is scrutinizing are Wells Fargo, BlackRock and JPMorgan. Hegar said another round of letters will soon be sent to over 100 other publicly traded companies.
Hegar, in a news release, said the inquiry is part of his efforts to enforce Senate Bill 13, which could lead to Texas dropping funding to companies that boycott energy companies.
“We know some of these companies hold investments in oil and gas today, but what about the future? Are they selling the hope of a ‘green’ tomorrow with promises to divest or reduce their fossil fuel exposure?” Hegar wrote in the release. “A handful of companies are echoing promises by the Biden administration about a ‘transition’ to green energy. They’ve managed to convince people that electric cars and wind and solar power generation can meet our energy needs, and if we just stop investing in oil and gas, the transition will be swift and painless. Anyone who has paid any attention to recent events knows that just isn’t true.”
It’s been long known that emissions from burning fuels for electricity, transportation and other uses are the chief driver of climate change, pulling long-buried carbon in fossil fuels out of the ground and depositing that carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Scientists say such heat-trapping gases are causing sea-level rise and extreme weather events around the world.
Hegar accuses some of these companies of playing both sides, telling “liberal clients” one thing and oil- and gas-producing states including Texas something else.
“Our research thus far shows that some companies are telling us and other energy-producing states one thing, and then turning around and telling their liberal clients in other states another thing,” he wrote. “On one hand, they push net-zero and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and use their influence and the dollars under their management to limit access to capital for Texas oil and gas firms. Then these same firms tell Texas and other energy states that they’re committed to the fossil fuel sector. It is time for these companies to come clean, stop the big lie and realize they can’t have it both ways.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.