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This week saw the announcement by the State Financial Officers Foundation of a new initiative to restrict the use of pension funds to support leftist political agendas, which Utah Treasurer Marlo Oaks (R) has joined.

To spread awareness about the politicization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) projects through the use of public pension funds, the foundation established the Public Fiduciary Network, which Oaks chairs. The organization estimates that there are over 5,000 state and municipal pension funds in the US, with assets worth trillions of dollars.

At a press conference in Florida, Noah Wall, the director of the State’s Financial Officers group, stated, “Our goal is to give education and resources for them to understand the seriousness of issue in the financial industry, the politicization of these funds, and very clear ways they can protect their fiduciary duty with respect to how they are overseeing these pension funds.”

The network’s national chair, Oaks, stated that because of the “politicization of our capital markets,” it is a “vital problem” to educate members of state and local pension boards about the activities of some asset managers to support particular agendas.

According to Republicans, pension fund administrators ought to return to the conventional interpretation of fiduciary duty, which holds that investing plans should be independent of political goals.

The American Accountability Foundation released a study earlier this month that revealed Oklahoma public official retirement funds were promoting decarbonization, anti-white policies, and pro-abortion policies. Based on public retirement funds, the analysis found a minimum of 216 options, with an emphasis on environmental, social, and governance.

In response to a query from The Daily Wire on the network’s intended geographic focus, Wall stated that they aimed to bring on partners at all levels of the federal government.

He declared, “It is a 50 state problem.” We will be trying to enlist people from all around the nation to serve as state representatives. The issue is not specific to blue or red states. It is a national problem. We will seek candidates all the way down to the county commissioners, who are in charge of the regional pension boards.

Raising awareness is especially important, according to State Financial Foundation CEO Derek Kreifels, because large asset managers like BlackRock have increased their state and local lobbying efforts. BlackRock’s commitment to ESG investing, according to Kreifels, has been ambiguous, with the company stating that their position “depends on who’s in the room and who they are talking to.”

In recent years, states have been working harder to prevent public funding from passing through asset managers that have the oil and gas sector as their objective.

Author: Blake Ambrose

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