Marshall, TX – Today, Dalia Blass, BlackRock’s head of external affairs, testified on BlackRock’s investing practices at a hearing held by the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs. Republicans had subpoenaed BlackRock, Vanguard, StateStreet, and ISS to interrogate their position on climate. However, news broke yesterday that Vanguard was not going to be present at the hearing.
“There are some unfortunate knowledge gaps among the Texas Senate Committee both on the climate crisis and how the finance industry actually works. It’s a shame that BlackRock didn’t use this opportunity to call out the hearing as the craven political sham that it was and enlighten the assembled Republicans on the basic facts of risk management,” said Casey Harrell, Senior Finance Strategist with The Sunrise Project. “We’re extending our condolences to BlackRock’s climate-committed clients – who are by far in the majority – for having to watch their asset manager waffle in the face of obvious climate denialism today. It was truly embarrassing to watch BlackRock be so unwilling to acknowledge the most basic tenets of climate risk mitigation in the face of the slightest political pushback.”
“Now I’ve seen everything. Republicans really want to penalize investment firms for doing their job of judging the market and seeking to maximize shareholder value?” said Rick Levy, President of the Texas AFL-CIO. “These games will directly harm working people and especially retirees who depend on investment experts, not oil billionaires or their political errand boys, to make sure their pensions will carry them through retirement, Retired correctional officers, teachers, firefighters and other public employees benefit from sound investment practices that are not always in line with right wing ideologues, and when politicians substitute their politics for professional expertise, we all end up paying the price.”
When news broke yesterday that Vanguard would no longer be attending the hearing Casey Harrell, Senior Finance Strategist with The Sunrise Project, said:
“We, like many others, were anticipating Vanguard finally having to articulate its approach to managing climate risk in the hearing tomorrow, but it seems the company is just a pawn for the US right wing’s political theater. We are eagerly awaiting Republicans questioning the finance industry about other established truths like gravity, and we are looking forward to Vanguard’s vague and evasive take on these unanswered questions.”
The BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign released a memo yesterday examining BlackRock’s position in 2022 and sharing expectations for 2023. In summary: BlackRock cannot navigate the next critical decade of decarbonization by changing course as political winds shift. BlackRock needs to forge a new path that follows the science and the will of the majority of its investors.
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