State Treasurer John Schroder Pulls State Investments From Black Rock Due to Company’s Net-Zero Emissions Policy

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Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder must believe that climate change is a hoax. He is one of almost two dozen Republican state treasurers who are “working to thwart climate action on state and federal levels,” according to the New York Times. The group has been meeting secretly to plot strategy aimed at opposing regulations that would shine a bright light on the “economic risks posed by a warming world” as well as to thwart the selection of federal officials who support climate change initiatives. Finally, Schroder and other GOP treasurers are reallocating state investment dollars away from companies like Black Rock whose mission includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

In January 2021, Attorney General Jeff Landry urged Schroder to follow the lead of other GOP state treasurers, according to Jeremy Alford in LaPolitics Weekly. Schroder eventually obliged Landry by pulling the state’s investments from Black Rock, one of the world’s preeminent asset management firms. In January 2021, Black Rock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink announced their commitment to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with an international effort to limit the earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

“We believe that the transition to a net zero world is a shared responsibility of every citizen, corporation and government,” Fink opined. Black Rock’s website includes extremely clear language on the level of their commitment. “Climate risk will fundamentally reshape finance and drive a significant reallocation of capital. The net zero transition will create risks but also a historic investment opportunity. We believe a successful and orderly net zero transition is in the financial interest of both our clients and the economy as a whole.” 

Inspired by the obscure State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF), Schroder successfully plotted with state treasurers in Arkansas and West Virginia to pull more than $700 million in state investments from Black Rock, the New York Times explained earlier this week. President Biden’s announced intent to speed America’s transition from oil, gas and coal led SFOS to adopt a new focus. The Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute and the American Petroleum Institute also became involved. Treasurers from states where Democratic elected officials are the majority are already pushing back but lack the strength of an organization like SFOF. 

While Texas Governor Greg Abbot recently signed a law that stops state agencies from working with companies no longer associated with fossil fuel businesses, President Biden is about to declare victory on America’s first major climate law. Though the legislation is far from perfect, it will provide incentives through clean energy tax credits, clean transportation, a clean energy sustainability accelerator, clean manufacturing, healthy ports, energy efficiency and electrification, agriculture, and coastal conservation, a methane fee, smart-from-the-state clean energy projects, and environmental justice investments black grants.    

Landry also pressured Schroder to use his position on the State Bond Commission to delay New Orleans’ funding requests because of support for abortion rights. Schroder and Landry, both conservatives, are thought to be considering a race for governor of Louisiana in 2023. Governor John Bel Edwards is term limited.

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