The Idaho state legislature is considering a controversial — but critical — good-government bill to protect America’s energy industry and safeguard tax dollars from being abused for political gain.
Hundreds of the world’s largest financiers, collectively controlling over 60% of global wealth, have created a cartel, colluding to discriminate against industries they deem politically incorrect and advance the climate alarmist narrative. Their main targets? The very industries we rely on to meet our everyday needs: energy, mining, agriculture, and forestry. If left unchecked, the movement threatens to worsen already out-of-control inflation and energy costs — and jeopardize millions of families’ retirement investments.
House Bill 737 will fight back by prohibiting companies that boycott these crucial industries doing business with the State of Idaho. With this legislation, Idaho can join a growing coalition of states fighting back against the progressive political agenda threatening our energy industry and our tax dollars.
While energy policy may not be on the average Idahoans’ mind on a daily basis, it affects every aspect of our lives. We couldn’t get to work or school, keep our homes warm and bright, access the Internet, or even access quality medical care without the affordable, reliable energy we take for granted on a daily basis.
But the energy discrimination agenda — known in Wall Street circles as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing — threatens to tear down the energy the banks themselves couldn’t function without.
ESG advocates claim that cutting off capital to fossil fuel producers and instead funneling investments toward renewable energy is necessary to promote the “energy transition.” However, decades of history show just how dangerous this mindset is. Despite spending over $200 billion of our tax dollars on energy subsidies in the last decade, disproportionately benefitting wind and solar, these energy sources only moved from 3% to 4% of our energy supply. There is no reason to think following the same expensive path would suddenly produce different results.
All the ESG agenda will accomplish is making it harder for responsible American energy producers to do their jobs. This leads to higher prices not just for electricity and gas (an already painful subject), but for everything we buy. It also cedes power to foreign energy producers who don’t share our interest in low prices, environmental protection, or even human rights standards.
Equally concerning is the havoc that this discriminatory, politically motivated investing will wreak on Americans’ investments. Workers should be 100% confident that their money is being managed with their best interests in mind — not on advancing political agendas. But Wall Street’s anti-energy collusion allows subjective perceptions of political correctness to supersede return on investment.
While green advocates claim that ESG funds perform just as well as traditional investing, this goes against generations of Investing 101, which urges diverse investments in many industries. One well-constructed study specific to universities divesting from fossil fuels even found that the long-term financial costs were likely to interfere with investment goals. The concept is too new and unproven to expect hard-working families who will one day depend on those funds for survival to roll the dice.
The literal gamble of ESG investing is especially concerning when it comes to our tax dollars. Nearly a quarter of the American workforce participates in government-operated pensions at the local, state, or federal level — and countless public initiatives are funded by investments. Idahoans should never have to wonder if either their tax dollars or their retirement funds are being stewarded wisely.
That’s why House Bill 737 is critical to the Gem State’s economic future — and to that of the entire nation. This legislation is already in effect in Texas and is being considered in other state legislatures across the country. By banding together, a strong coalition of states can have a real impact.
Public pension managers must prioritize fiduciary duty and avoid firms that divest from fossil fuels or other targeted industries. By passing HB 737, Idaho can help lead the way.