Alabama’s state auditor is joining the fight against environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
Last week, State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) filed a bill, SB261, that would not allow government entities from entering into contracts with companies that use ESG policies in their business practices.
State Auditor Andrew Sorrell discussed his support for Roberts’ bill on Talk 99.5’s “Leland Live” radio show Thursday.
“There’s a couple of groups in the state that are against this bill and apparently some of their membership don’t want to see this bill go through,” Sorrell said. “And this is a real head-scratcher for me because I think the base is going to be with us 99 to 1 on this. The Republican base knows what ESG is … the name ID of ESG is increasing. And people don’t want this, they don’t want ESG invading our financial institutions in the state.”
Sorrell described what he believes are the dangers of the ESG movement being pushed on businesses.
“Environmental, social and governance is this new way of looking at business where we don’t care so much about how much profit they make, what we care about his how woke they are,” he said. “So are they pushing for environmental causes? Are we trying to get rid of evil big oil for instance? Socially are you supporting LGBTQ? Are you supporting Black Lives Matter? How woke are you? And all of these policies are beginning to invade our financial institutions and they’re being graded by certain companies based on how they’re doing.
“It’s a way of bullying ESG into existence. When they can’t pass an unpopular bill into law, they try to use woke corporations to help push this garbage and shove it down our throats, and we’ve got to fight back.”
Sorrell also defended Allen Mendenhall of the Troy University Johnson Center for Political Economy. He was criticized after speaking to the Senate Republican Caucus about the problems with ESG.
“Mendenhall is brilliant,” he said, “the guy has five degrees, he has Ph.Ds and a jurist doctorate … He was there to talk about the dangers of ESG and there were groups basically trying to silence him, and I don’t stand for that and I went public with my opposition to that.”
He sent a letter to Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins to reiterate his support for Mendenhall and his views on ESG.
“Many of Alabama’s peer states have taken recent actions with respect to ESG investing,” he said in the letter, “and I’m concerned that failure to act would put our state at an economic disadvantage and could negatively impact our state pension system.”