BlackRock CEO Larry Fink responds to CFACT question at shareholders meeting


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At BlackRock’s annual meeting of shareholders CEO Larry Fink was confronted with a question by CFACT on the highly controversial use of ESG scoring (Environmental, Social, and Governance) by the investing giant.

CFACT asked:

“Oklahoma just enacted a law requiring the Treasurer to divest from firms that are boycotting energy companies due to ESG standards. How does BlackRock plan to adjust its over-reliance on ESG scoring as more and more states prohibit ESG investing?”

In his answer, Fink repeatedly stated that “clients choose how to invest their money,” and went on to say, “I’ve always stated we are against divestiture,” referring to attempts by those on the Left to divest from fossil fuel companies and their interests.

Rather, BlackRock plays a “critical role in the energy transition” which “has to be fair and just,” Fink said. He added that BlackRock “has no policy prohibiting or restricting investment in energy companies.”

Fink concluded his answer by explaining that BlackRock had even hosted a dinner with leaders of energy companies and leaders of the environmental movement to find ways the two sides could work together.

Unfortunately, while BlackRock may not have a policy of restricting investment in energy companies, the firm is encouraging the slow death march of American fossil fuel companies via its investing strategies.

This dinner between energy companies and environmentalists that Fink referenced in his answer to CFACT’s question is exactly part of the problem. Environmental groups in the long run do not want any future that includes fossil fuel companies. They may be willing to compromise in the short term with things like carbon capture and emissions limits, but that is only because it brings them one step closer to their ultimate goal of shutting down all fossil fuel companies completely.

Earlier in the shareholder meeting, Fink had delivered BlackRock’s opposition statement to a shareholder proposal that would have required BlackRock to “adopt stewardship policies designed to curtail corporate activities that externalize social and environmental costs.” The proposal failed with 3.6% of shareholders voting in favor.

In Fink’s opposition statement, he said BlackRock was opposed to the proposal because it would prioritize things other than the financial performance of companies when choosing how to invest.

It is ironic that BlackRock would apply such logic to its opposition of this proposal, and not to its extensive use of ESG, which pushes a leftist environmental agenda ahead of the financial prospects of firms.

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