Texas comptroller threatens to boycott 19 investment firms unless they promise to back oil and gas

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Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar asked 19 investment firms to explain their stance on fossil fuels or face a divestment.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has sent a letter to 19 investment companies asking about their loyalty to fossil fuels.

Three companies are based in the United States: BlackRock Inc., Invesco Ltd. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The others cover the world.

Read the letter to the 19 companies here.

Senate Bill 13 requires all Texas retirement programs to withdraw money from companies that boycott oil and gas. The bill was signed into law last year.

Investments impact the Teachers Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS).

Hegar asked the 19 companies to clarify their policies and procedures.

“We know that some of these companies have oil and gas investments today, but what about the future? Are they selling hope for a “green” future by promising to divest or reduce their exposure to fossil fuels? A handful of companies are echoing the Biden administration’s promises of a “transition” to green energy. They have 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 quick and painless. Anyone who has paid attention to recent events knows that is simply not true,” Hegar said in a press release to KVUE News.

Read Hegar’s full press release here.

Hegar asked the companies to also list all mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that boycott or limit fossil fuel investments.

“Our research so far shows that some companies tell us and other energy-producing states one thing, then turn around and say something else to their liberal customers in other states,” said Hegar in the release.

Last January, KVUE Defenders reported on how improving the state’s power grid could impact pension funds.

Texas law requires the utility operator to use natural gas for more than half of its electricity production.

Money spent boycotting fossil fuel investments would threaten the grid’s largest energy resource unless the state changes its energy mix.

RELATED: How Texas’ Energy Grid Could Impact Your Retirement Plan

Companies have 60 days to respond.

Hegar plans to send another round of letters, contacting 100 other publicly traded investment firms.

Hegar will post the list of companies on the comptroller’s website later.

The Comptroller’s website shows that the current list of state divestments includes:

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