ESG Is a Woke Scam Infecting Our Corporations and Changing Our Nation | Opinion

ESG

Have you heard of ESG investing? If not, you soon will. ESG is the latest trendy acronym designed to empower the elites at the expense of us non-elites.

The letters ESG stand for environmental, social, and governance. Together they represent a standard for investors to monitor how “socially conscious” a company is. In other words, it’s a wokeness scorecard for investors.

Think of the E in ESG as code for climate change activism. Think of the S in ESG as code for social justice—how open a company is to critical race theory, diversity mandates, and drag queen story hour in public libraries. And the G is all about how much power employees have to shake things up at a company.

Now, if you’re like most Americans, you probably think of climate change as one issue, social justice as a completely separate issue, and the relationship between workers and their bosses a third entirely. But ESG brings the cultural and political dominance of the climate change and social justice narratives into one, mighty fist that is beating its way through one boardroom after another. In turn, what’s decided in those boardrooms become the values we advocate for in the public square.

So it’s fitting that the backlash has arrived. Politicians, investors, and everyday citizens are attacking ESG, insisting that it hurts local industries, delivers subpar returns, and fundamentally changes the vital fiduciary relationship between the investor and the asset manager. Altogether, ESG investing insidiously changes traditional American values, all while never by having to stand before the American people and ask for their permission.

But the real danger is to society. ESG is a win-win for climate change activists and social justice warriors who can bypass the ballot box—and thus the will of the people—to implement policy that would have a very hard time getting passed in Congress.

But don’t cry for CEOs like Larry Fink at BlackRock. There’s a lot of money to be made with these ESG designer labels. BlackRock’s ESG Aware fund, for example, charges fees five times higher than those of its Core S&P 500 fund. In fact, ESG investment funds have 43 percent higher fees than conventional investment funds. According to The Economist, worldwide ESG assets total $2.72 trillion; multiply that by their exorbitant fees and you begin to see that this is a good deal for these asset managers.

Meanwhile, fossil fuel and the oil and gas industry are constantly in the crosshairs of ESG enthusiasts. And this despite the fact that we are in the middle of a global energy crisis.

Just three short years ago, America was a net energy producer, meaning, we were drilling more energy than we could use ourselves and selling the excess amount to our neighbors around the globe. Today, the Biden administration is routinely seen crawling on proverbial hands and knees around the world begging for energy supplies from our enemies that we could produce for ourselves.

American companies like Exxon should be drilling and investing in more drilling. Instead, they’re being crippled. More than 70 percent of our energy in America comes from fossil fuels. Like it or not, this isn’t changing anytime soon—at least not now during these tumultuous times in the global energy sector.

Yet instead of being a leader in the energy race, Exxon is now transitioning away from fossil fuel and toward renewables. And it’s doing so as a direct result of the fact that 21 percent of the company is owned by Black Rock, State Street, and Vanguard. Together these companies combined their efforts to replace three Exxon board members with progressive activists, all slaves to ESG.

Who needs the federal government to infringe upon our rights as citizens when corporations will come together and do it for them?

Who needs the federal government to enforce mask mandates if corporations will do it for them or else service will be denied?

Who needs the federal government to enforce vaccine mandates if corporations will do it for them or else employment will be terminated?

What about enforcing pronoun misappropriations? Or enforcing diversity mandates? Not to mention forcing corporations like Exxon to destroy their own business model to chase after nebulous returns from transitioning to green energy. Or moving our nation from one that values meritocracy to one that judges the value of a person not by what they bring to the corporation, but by if they fit within the “right” identity.

If traditional American values are to be changed, let it be done at the ballot box and not in some of America’s most elite corporate boardrooms.

It’s time to put an end to ESG investing.

Kathy Barnette is a mother, author, veteran, and national spokesperson for 1776 Action. In 2022, Kathy was the Republican Primary Candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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