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House Republican’s Denial of ESG Discrimination Contradicted by Utah State Treasurer

June 22, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Once again, the existence of a decades-long strategy to suffocate political opposition through social justice-oriented investing criteria, or “social credit scores” determined by Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, was affirmed on a global platform, just months after State Representative Joel John (R-Buckeye) denied its existence. John helped kill legislation preventing ESG discrimination, HB2656, because he said such a problem didn’t exist. 

“I’ve asked the sponsor to give me real-world examples of why this bill is needed, and I didn’t get that. I even got a call from my cousin, who doesn’t live in my district, telling me that this bill is needed and to pass it right now and I said ‘why is it a problem man? Help me understand,’” said John. “For those of us who happen to be in this chamber, but don’t live, eat, and breathe politics 24/7, when I’m not in this chamber I’m out in a remote area working on some irrigation project, but my cousin said this is going to negatively affect farmers. This is going to affect our community, and I said, ‘Oh wow. Would you please do me a favor and talk to some of those guys as to why this is a problem. That would really help me. So, I never did hear back.”

John didn’t respond to AZ Free News’ request for comment. 

Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks affirmed the reality of ESG discrimination in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson last week. Oaks explained that ESG was a “problematic” outgrowth of something investors call “socially responsible investing,” or “SRI.”

“ESG engages with companies and engages with the market to drive a political outcome. That’s why it’s so problematic,” said Oaks.

Oaks claimed that ESG was one of the reasons why Americans are facing high gas prices. He explained that there was a supply issue because companies lacked capital. Oaks attributed the 90 percent drop in investments — from 59 funds totaling $46.6 billion in 2015 to 11 funds totaling $4.6 billion in 2021 — to ESG discrimination.

“People have decided that they do not want to participate in the fossil fuel industry, and so they are cutting off capital,” said Oaks. 

The concept of ESG dates back to 2004, as Forbes reported in a 2008 investigative piece on the subject, when the former United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan invited over 50 of the top financial institution CEOs at the time to an initiative to influence markets using ESG screens. Reports produced by this initiative coining the term ESG prompted the New York Stock Exchange to roll out its Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006 and the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI) in 2007. 

At present, companies that apply ESG scoring look to Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), a pro-globalism lobbying organization, to determine their measure of ESG enforcement. 

Over 70 major international companies covering nearly all aspects of consumerism use the WEF metrics system, among them a number of financial services companies (emphasis added): Bank of America, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, bp, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Fidelity International, Heineken, Hyundai, IBM, Kia, Lord, Abbett & Co.Mastercard, Mitsubishi, Moderna, NASDAQ, Nestle, Paypal, Salesforce, Sony, and Unilever. 

The world’s greatest asset manager, BlackRock, is listed as one of WEF’s 100 strategic partners. Also listed are Amazon, AstraZeneca, Chevron, Cisco, Citi, Coca-Cola, General Electric (GE), Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Honeywell, HP, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Meta (Facebook), McKinsey & CompanyMorgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, S&P Global, Uber, UPS, Verizon, Volvo, Volkswagen, and Western Union. (Again, we added emphasis to those financial services companies of interest). 

Although the WEF referred to their metrics system as one related to “capitalism,” their use of the term is contested. WEF Founder Klaus Schwab meant for his redefined version of “capitalism” to be understood through a term he coined, “stakeholder capitalism,” which posits that modern enterprises must serve those who benefit from corporate behavior, stakeholders, in addition to shareholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity. Hence, social credit scores. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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