Attorney General Paxton has joined a Utah- and Indiana-led motion to intervene into a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proceeding to prevent the investment fund management company Vanguard from exerting too much power over publicly-traded utilities.
Vanguard is seeking a three-year extension of its previously-granted authority to acquire voting securities up to 20% of the ownership in utility companies. Attorney General Paxton’s opposition is based upon Vanguard’s decision to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative and its resulting push to further Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) investing. In the time since Vanguard was given initial authorization to invest in these companies, its public actions have indicated an alarming shift toward costly environmental activism and a desire to use its financial influence to manipulate companies to adopt a left-wing climate agenda.
Allowing Vanguard to continue to invest in these utilities and to exert control over energy sourcing for the American economy will increase costs for consumers as Vanguard promotes less-efficient energy production for the sake of fulfilling its drastic and unreasonable climate goals.
The motion states: “[W]e are concerned that Vanguard’s actions with respect to influencing environmental corporate policy—especially in combination with the stated motives of BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors—will inflate the rates consumers and our States pay for electrical service. . . . Vanguard’s environmental mandates impose costs on its portfolio companies, and it is highly plausible that those costs are passed on to consumers directly or indirectly by hampering access to capital or foreclosing certain revenue-generating opportunities.”
To read the full motion, click here.