Officials from Kentucky have requested that managers for the pension funds for the commonwealth make sure that environmental, social, and governance investing, which is known as ESG, has no actual place within the management of taxpayer funds.
Quite a few conservative states have been going against this type of investment methodology due to concerns that the approach mingles with extreme left-wing political causes with its maximization of profits. Both Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball ordered the managers of the commonwealth’s public pension authority and teachers’ retirement system, which stewards a grand total of almost $66 billion, that ESG investment methods “violate statutory and contractual fiduciary duties,” as reported by a recent letter.
“We write today to request that you, as the executive directors of the Commonwealth’s major public pension systems, advise our offices about your systems’ efforts to ensure that ESG considerations are not being implemented in your systems’ investment decisions, consistent with Kentucky law,” explained the released letter. “Your response is essential to guaranteeing that politics has no place in Kentucky’s public pensions.”
The state’s officials highlighted an opinion coming from Cameron claiming that “investment managers entrusted to make financial investments for Kentucky’s public pension systems must be single-minded in their motivation,” which means that activism “has no place” within the commonwealth’s investment decisions. “Whether these ancillary purposes are societally beneficial is beside the point when speaking of the duty of fiduciaries,” he claimed.
“Kentuckians worked hard for decades to earn their pensions and rely on them for livelihood in retirement. It is important their investments are maximized, not politicized,” stated Ball in a release. “As the watchdog of taxpayer dollars, I remain committed to ensuring funds are invested and spent consistent with the law.”
Quite a few conservative states have already moved away from groups that support ESG, making the argument that such a move only ends up entangling fiduciary duties with social agendas.
“The joint action of Treasurer Ball and Attorney General Cameron sends a clear message to Kentucky’s pension fund investment managers: their obligations are to work for the pensioners, not the Democratic Party, international climate groups, or megalomaniacs like Larry Fink,” explained Will Hild, the Consumers’ Research Executive Director, We applaud both officials in standing up for the citizens of Kentucky, who are being crushed due to reckless, illegal actions by companies like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street that put progressive politics above their legal and moral duties.”
A group of 19 state attorneys general kicked off an investigation this past month into a selection of six major banks, which included JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, to measure the degree of involvement with ESG and their commitments to going after the reduction in carbon emissions.