(The Center Square) – BlackRock Inc., the self-proclaimed world’s largest investment manager, announced this year that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the growth of “gender lens investing.”

The term, which didn’t appear in newspapers until 2012, is described by one multi-national accounting firm as “investing in organizations that promote workplace equity … or in organizations that offer products or services that improve the lives of women in a sustainable manner.”

It’s that type of what the political right refers to as “woke investing” known as ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) that has BlackRock and a handful of other investment managers on the radar of Republican politicians.

With annual revenue of $19.3 billion, BlackRock was accused in 2021 media stories of flexing its economic might by demanding “corporate polluters” to explain how they meet BlackRock’s goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 or risk BlackRock divesting from those companies with its managed funds.

Some states are now responding.

State of Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar published a list of 10 financial companies that boycott energy companies. BlackRock was on his list.

“The environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement has produced an opaque and perverse system in which some financial companies no longer make decisions in the best interest of their shareholders or their clients, but instead use their financial clout to push a social and political agenda shrouded in secrecy,” Hegar said in a statement.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated in a letter that BlackRock’s energy agenda may violate state laws across the country that are “requiring a sole focus on financial return.”

“Our states will not idly stand for our pensioners’ retirements to be sacrificed for BlackRock’s climate agenda,” Paxton’s letter stated, which was signed by a total of 19 GOP state attorneys general.

In August, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the State Board of Administration passed a resolution that removed ESG from consideration when it comes to investing state funds.

“Corporate power has increasingly been utilized to impose an ideological agenda on the American people through the perversion of financial investment priorities under the euphemistic banners of environmental, social, and corporate governance and diversity, inclusion, and equity,” DeSantis said in a statement.

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