Arkansas acts on its ESG Act against financial firms



While Oklahoma’s ESG Act is on hold because of a judge’s ruling in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the two-year old law, the state of Arkansas took action this week on its list of financial firms boycotted by the state.

The Arkansas ESG Oversight Committee voted recently to keep 10 financial service providers on the banned list. This week, agreed to keep TD Bank Group and TD Securities on the list of firms that are not allowed to do state business because their Environmental and Social Governance policies discriminate against oil and gas companies in Arkansas.

According to a recent report by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, it was a close vote of 3-2 to keep Goldman Sachs & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on the list of the banned companies. An attorney for Goldman Sachs argued the firm does not discriminate against fossil fuel companies, but the committee was not convinced. The Committee agreed to keep six other financial service providers on the list.

Oklahoma Treasurer Todd Russ cannot take further action on the Oklahoma Energy Discrimination Elimination Act because of Oklahoma County District Judge Sheila Stinson’s granting last week of a temporary injunction. The decision came in a lawsuit filed by a state retiree who contended the enforcement of the Act was harmful to state pension plans.