Mr. Read is the Oregon state treasurer.
In several Republican-led states, the officials who oversee pension funds for millions of state workers are being told, or may soon be told, to ignore the financial risks associated with a warming world. There’s something distinctly anti-free market about policymakers limiting investment professionals’ choices — and it’s putting the retirement savings of millions at risk.
The Texas comptroller, Glenn Hegar, recently announced that 10 financial firms and 348 funds could be barred from doing business with the state’s pension plans because they appeared to consider environmental risks in their investment decisions regarding the fossil fuel industry. The day before, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced a similar move. Other states, including Idaho, Louisiana and West Virginia, have either taken or are thinking of taking similar actions, which amount to ideological litmus tests that will likely result in lower returns for pensioners.
Author(s): Tobias Read
Publication Date: 17 Sept 2022
Publication Site: NYT
The latest anti-ESG onslaught from Republican state officials is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign to forbid the Florida State Board of Administration from adopting environmental, social and governance investing tenets. At the moment, SBA doesn’t appear to be a devotee of ESG.
The governor, an outspoken conservative, plans to propose at an SBA meeting on August 15 that the body’s fiduciary duties must exclude ESG. “From Wall Street banks to massive asset managers and big tech companies, we have seen the corporate elite use their economic power to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box,” DeSantis said in a statement.
DeSantis, a possible GOP presidential contender in 2024, declared that “we are protecting Floridians from woke capital and asserting the authority of our constitutional system over ideological corporate power.” He also plans to push through legislation banning the SBA from making ESG-themed investments and requiring them to focus on maximizing returns.
Author(s): Larry Light
Publication Date: 5 Aug 2022
Publication Site: ai-CIO
But Moosa Tatar, the lead author of the study featured by Yahoo, said the story’s framing of his analysis was incorrect, and he does not yet know how many of the excess deaths are attributable to COVID.
“The impact of COVID-19 on mortality is significantly greater than the official COVID-19 data suggest. But we need further research to determine specific reasons for this,” he told National Review. “These deaths may have been directly or indirectly associated with COVID-19.”
Nazaryan went on to imply that Governor Ron DeSantis could be pressuring the state’s medical examiners, who have “some discretion,” to deliberately undercount COVID deaths. “In Florida, the state’s 25 district medical examiners are directly appointed by the governor,” he noted.
Author(s): Tobias Hoonhout
Publication Date: 30 March 2021
Publication Site: National Review
Most of the public isn’t worried about people testing negative for COVID-19, but for researchers that data is an essential tool to understanding the path of the virus as it courses through Florida, killing more than 30,000 and infecting more than 1.9 million people.
“They’re definitely not releasing everything,” Hladish said last week. “It has a huge impact on scientists’ ability to understand what’s going on.”
The Herald/ Times interviewed more than two dozen researchers, journalists and legislators about their experience with open records in the last year and the common conclusion was: Florida health officials are reluctant to release new data related to COVID-19 that contradicts the governor’s upbeat narrative and they frequently withhold information until they are either threatened with a lawsuit, or convinced the trend lines have improved. (See: Timeline of Florida’s Dark Year for Sunshine.)
Author(s): MARY ELLEN KLAS, THE MIAMI HERALD
Publication Date: 1 March 2021
Publication Site: Governing