Wall Street has never been too keen on Texas. The bustling streets of progressive Manhattan are a stark contrast to the wide-open plains and freedom-founded principles of the Lone Star State. But until now, coastal elites’ disdain for Texas has been mostly limited to peering down their noses at our state.
But today, Wall Street firms are colluding on a coordinated attack against Texas and our way of life. Wealthy investment managers like BlackRock and Bank of the West are denying capital to energy companies, wielding their money and power like a wrecking ball with one goal — destroying the oil and gas industry.
But energy is the driving force of our lives and livelihoods — so I’ve made it a priority to fight back.
Senate Bill 13 sends a strong message to big business: If you boycott Texas energy, Texas will boycott you.
Under this new law, the state of Texas will no longer do business with companies that actively boycott or divest from fossil fuels. The reason is simple: Texas wouldn’t be Texas without energy. Our economy, prosperity, and quality of life would be at risk without the fuels made right here in our state.
In 2017, I championed similar legislation regarding Israel. Thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature’s decisive action, the state of Texas no longer contracts with companies that boycott Israel. We’re proud to stand firmly with one of our greatest allies — and to show the same support to the energy workers who power our state and our entire nation.
Energy makes our lives possible. It’s not just about jobs and the economy, although those things are important. Energy represents nearly a third of Texas’ GDP and funds more than 10 percent of the state’s budget. Last year alone, oil and gas contributed nearly $14 billion to our schools, roads, and Rainy Day Fund. In pre-COVID times, that number was even higher.
More importantly, nothing we do is possible without Texas’ rich natural gas and petroleum reserves. We rely on fossil fuels to get through our day, from the gas we put in our cars and the electricity keeping our businesses running to the plastics used in a myriad of medical products, including the masks and gloves keeping our health care heroes safe.
The burgeoning energy discrimination movement is denying capital to our responsible, hard-working energy businesses, which means the energy we need will be less affordable and less secure — and everything we do will be more expensive. It’s a recipe for worsening poverty in a time our economy, though stronger than the rest of the country’s, is already struggling to return to normalcy.
And when investment managers choose political pet causes over their fiduciary duty, our retirees will suffer for it even more. The Texans who will one day depend on their investments and pensions for retirement — including our teachers, first responders, and state employees — deserve to know their money is being treated with care, not manipulated for political purposes.
BlackRock and its compatriots in the investing world will claim that divesting from fossil fuels is necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe. But these claims don’t stack up for several reasons. First, the data models used to justify big-government climate policies are suspect at best. Second, these same models project that even eliminating fossil fuels entirely would have next to no impact on global temperatures.
A realistic and pragmatic view of climate science recognizes that the climate is changing, but those changes are likely to be mild and manageable — even more so as technological advancements make us more resilient.
The tangible benefits of affordable, reliable energy to Texas — lower poverty, improved economic opportunity, better heath, stronger national security, and even a cleaner environment — far outweigh the risks of slightly warmer temperatures decades from now. To continue to reap those benefits, this critical legislation sends a strong signal to both Washington and Wall Street.
Texas is proud to lead the fight.