DeSantis takes on ESG-driven investments for state funds

SALEM, OR - NOVEMBER 14: Photovoltaic solar panels are mounted on the west wing roof of the Oregon State Capitol November 14, 2005 in Salem, Oregon. The 60 panels cover 850 square feet and produce 8.4 peak kilowatts, or enough energy to power two efficient homes. Oregon is the first state to have a solar electric power system on its capitol building, a project that underscores Oregon's support for renewable energy projects. (Photo by Melanie Conner/Getty Images)
Photovoltaic solar panels are mounted on the west wing roof of the Oregon State Capitol. (Photo by Melanie Conner/Getty Images)

Neil W. McCabe, National Political Correspondent
UPDATED 12:20 PM PT –Monday, September 26, 2022

(Tallahassee, Fla.) Florida Republican Gov. Ronald D. DeSantis has long been an opponent of environmental social corporate governance and now he is taking action.

In August, he with other members of the State’s Board of Administration, which includes state CFO Jimmy Patronis and state Attorney General Ashley Moody.

The three voted to direct anyone managing funds for the state, including the pensions, to focus on shareholder value not to advance their political agenda with those assets.

Derek Kreifels, the chief executive officer of the State Financial Officers Foundation, told One American News he and his members are fighting to free pensions and other funds from the effects of ESG.

“There is this movement to hijack state tax dollars and pension funds from a few of the top fund managers in the world, and we’re seeing them use other people’s money to advance their political agenda,” Kreifels said.

“They’re using this as their new branch of government,” he said. “They can’t get it passed through the Democratic process. They know that. They can’t get it passed in the courts. They know that too.”

The SFOF CEO said ESG-driven decisions lead to companies working to destroy their own businesses.

“They’re going after corporate boardrooms and boardroom activists and shareholders, activist shareholders have been pushing for extreme shareholder proposals,” he said.

“We saw three leftist anti-oil environmental extremists elected to the Exxon Mobil board of directors—that’s not fiduciary responsibility,” he said.

DeSantis is going after so-called ESG social credit scores.

These scores are similar to the ones developed by the Chinese Communist Party, which give everyone in the country there a rating as to how loyal they are to the CCP.

In the US the left is doing the same with companies and states, rating their loyalty to the left-wing agenda.

One way the ESG credit scores work would be the example of a state with the highest credit rating in the world, AAA. If the state doesn’t have electric car chargers, solar panels or wind turbines that reflects negatively on their ESG score.

If bankers are bidding for the state’s bonds, they have a second score to look at, which hurts the price of those bonds.

DeSantis pledged to amend the state’s unfair practices law to ban those scores in the Sunshine State.

Florida alone holds more than $200 billion in state and local pension funds. So Wall Street should pay attention.