House Republicans are expanding their probe of major asset managers who are working to engineer a net-zero carbon emissions economy for potential violations of U.S. antitrust law.
On Thursday, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM), demanding records related to the firms’ coordination of their aggressive climate goals.
“[BlackRock] is potentially violating U.S. antitrust law by entering into agreements to ‘decarbonize’ its assets under management and reduce emissions to net zero — with potentially harmful effects on Americans’ freedom and economic well-being,” House Republicans wrote to the nation’s wealthiest asset management firm.
Vanguard and State Street join BlackRock among the top five largest financial firms in the country. Letters to each firm were signed by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina.
“BlackRock is a member of both Climate Action 100+ and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM),” lawmakers wrote. “Through Climate Action 100+, BlackRock appears to have reached a collusive agreement with other institutional investors to ‘work with the companies in which [they] invest to … deliver net zero [greenhouse gas (GHG)] emissions by 2050.’”
In December, Republicans led by Jordan opened an antitrust investigation into Climate Action 100+ for operating what “seems to work like a cartel to ‘ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.’”
“When companies agree to work together to punish disfavored views or industries, or to otherwise advance environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, this coordinated behavior may violate the antitrust laws and harm American consumers,” Republicans wrote.
That same month, West Virginia’s Republican Treasurer Riley Moore joined a growing chorus of GOP state financial officers calling on the chief executive of BlackRock, Larry Fink, to step down.
“I think Larry Fink should resign,” said Moore, who is now running for a seat in the House of Representatives, in an interview with The Federalist. “I don’t think he’s obviously somebody who’s too concerned about what policymakers in the United States think.”
Fink has routinely bragged about antagonizing Washington politicians from his Manhattan perch, where his management firm sits on top of roughly $8 trillion in assets. “I’m now being attacked equally by the left and the right, so I’m doing something right,” Fink said at an annual membership meeting for the Institute of International Finance last fall.
As the finance sector religiously implements Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) goals, which prioritize climate extremism and left-wing social politics over shareholder interests, BlackRock has been the primary driver. In recent days, however, Fink has tried to distance himself from the ESG term. Last month, the CEO said the ESG moniker has been “misused by the far left and the far right” but re-affirmed his devotion to “conscientious capitalism,” which is just ESG by another name.
The adoption of ESG standards has led firms to boycott the fossil fuel industry to the detriment of energy workers, a reliable power grid, and affordable utility bills. The activism has provoked Republican treasurers to divest taxpayer dollars from major financial firms such as BlackRock, whose investment strategies are threatening constituents.
ESG activism has also come to the detriment of shareholders. Under Fink’s leadership, BlackRock’s year-over-year assets dropped more than 14 percent from roughly $10 trillion to less than $8.6 trillion. Meanwhile, Fink’s efforts to appeal to the Chinese Communist Party have led to ads from the educational nonprofit Consumers’ Research exposing the firm’s contradictory loyalty.