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ESG Investing Stirs Controversy Among Governors Over Retirement Funds

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and 18 of his fellow Republican governors have signed a letter opposing the Biden administration’s Department of Labor’s new rule, which allows fund managers to consider Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues when investing retirement funds. The letter aims to stop what they call ‘woke’ economic policy, which includes ESG-based investing. The governors have threatened to take action to protect individuals from the ESG movement, which they believe threatens the vitality of the American economy and Americans’ economic freedom. This may include blocking the use of ESG in all investment decisions at the state and local level, ensuring that only financial factors are considered to maximize the return on investment, protecting retirees, and taxpayers alike.

The move is a response to the Biden administration’s reversal of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act, requiring retirement plan managers to consider only factors that have a “material effect” on investments. The Republican governors believe that retirees, who are already suffering from the reckless fiscal policies of the Biden administration, will continue to experience diminished returns on their investments while the corporate elite continues to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box.

According to the New Hampshire Retirement System, the state’s trust fund stood at $11.57 billion at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. The governors’ letter has received support from free-market advocates, who argue that ESG funds return over 2.5 percent less than the industry average. The difference between ESG and financial factor-based investing could mean the difference between being able to stay in one’s home as a senior or being forced to downsize, or the difference between being able to help a grandchild through college or not.

The Republican governors who signed the letter, including potential 2024 presidential contenders like Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, and Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, are committed to protecting the interests of their constituents and will keep fighting the administration’s decision to promote far-left priorities at the expense of retirement savings for millions of Americans.

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