Republican AGs Want Answers On BlackRock’s Climate Agenda

Republican attorneys general from 15 states, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen sent a letter to $10 trillion asset manager BlackRock in New York City asking the financial services company to explain its climate policies and activism, suspecting that the company may be misrepresenting its products to investors.

“We still have questions that we would like answered to better understand BlackRock’s past and present actions,” the letter stated. “For example, the Tennessee Attorney General sued BlackRock, alleging that BlackRock made a number of misrepresentations or misleading omissions to consumers related to certain of its funds.”

Officials from so many states are involved because residents in their jurisdiction invest money with BlackRock, so they are defending their residents from potentially fraudulent marketing by the company. Attorneys general from 15 states say BlackRock may be misleading its investors to believe its products maximize returns while some may not.

If the company invests with environmental priorities instead of profits, its marketing materials may be misleading clients. “I have serious concerns about BlackRock’s Environmental, Social, and Governance investments, their conflicting statements regarding ESG, and the potential conflicts of interest with independent fund directors,” Knudsen told the Daily Wire.

Utah AG Sean Reyes said, “Thanks to persistent efforts from Republican attorneys general to defeat the radical and illegal ESG movement, BlackRock and other investment firms have rightly withdrawn from certain environmental organizations committed to a foundational transformation of America’s energy and financial sectors.”

“Our coalition, however, still has concerns with BlackRock’s past and present actions involving the financial interests of our constituents. We will remain steadfast in holding BlackRock and others like it accountable by protecting the financial freedom of our people,” Reyes added.

“Mutual fund directors have a fiduciary obligation to their clients to make them as much money as possible, but BlackRock appears to be more concerned with pushing the woke, liberal agenda,” the Montana attorney general said.

The letter from all 15 state attorneys general offices Thursday said: “BlackRock’s claims that its focus on climate and ESG is motivated by concern about financial return are also undermined by the performance of its ESG-managed funds, which lag behind the performance of non-ESG benchmarks while charging higher fees.”