Oklahoma on Tuesday will be the latest state to join the list of those going after financial institutions that target oil and gas companies with a boycott of their funds.
The law was in response to such financial firms as Blackrock Investments which announced last year it would not finance oil and gas operations because of Blackrock’s support of ESG efforts.
The Energy Discrimination Elimination Act, formerly known in the legislature as House Bill 2034, will take effect Tuesday and require the state Treasurer to create a list of financial companies that are boycotting fossil fuel energy companies.
The Treasurer’s office issued a statement in response to an inquiry by OK Energy Today.
“The oil and gas industry plays a critical role in the state’s economy,” said Oklahoma State Treasurer Randy McDaniel. “The Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022 was designed to support the men and women who work and invest in this important industry.”
“Action has been taken prior to the provisions of HB 2034 going into effect,” McDaniel said. “The first step in the process is to obtain a complete inventory of the financial institutions the state retirement systems use in their operations and management. My letter to the systems has already been sent. The inventory information is due by the close of business on November 15, 2022.”
The law is similar to laws created in Texas and West Virginia. Its primary author is Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro who declared at the time it was introduced, “This legislation would ensure the state of Oklahoma is free from discrimination against the fossil-fuel industry and does not support corporations that put political ideology ahead of the interests of taxpayers, shareholders and residents.”
The bill was signed into law in May by Gov. Kevin Stitt, prompting Sen. Allen to stated, “Oil and gas is the backbone of our state’s economy, and it’s crucial that we do all in our power to fully support this industry.”
In short, it means Oklahoma will no longer do business with firms or institutions that discriminate against oil and gas companies.