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12/01/2022 06:43 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=37080
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 23, 2022 09:50 AM
From: Representative Russ Diamond and Rep. Perry A. Stambaugh, Rep. David H. Zimmerman, Rep. Greg Rothman
To: All House members
Subject: Putting the Brakes on ESG with the Virtue, Liberty, and Independence Act
 
Pennsylvania’s motto − Virtue, Liberty, and Independence − embodies the role of the General Assembly to protect the God-given rights of its citizens from abuses and erosion. Our duty to defend the individual rights of Pennsylvanians soars above every other objective of governance.

Over the past decade, Wall Street has been leveraging the power of transnational corporations to control access to capital through the use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores. Banks, investment firms, and finance institutions have used these scores to determine what businesses qualify for loans and other necessary services like insurance.

Unfortunately, ESG scores no longer apply just to corporations. Merril Lynch, for one, already applies ESG scores to clients’ investment portfolios.

Clearly, we’re reaching a point where people with “good” ESG scores may receive lucrative offers, easier loan terms, and even targeted packages designed to reward certain behaviors tied to subjective and ever-changing values and narratives. Many who espouse ESG “principles” believe that access to capital is not a right, but a privilege. They contend that financial and business plan metrics should no longer drive investment − instead, their subjective version of “responsible and sustainable” practices should.

The absurd and anti-American groupthink of global oligarchs and wealthy elites should not determine the purchasing decisions of individuals. Using ESG scores to control behavior is only one step away from China’s social credit system, where those who disagree with Communist Party ideology and “values” are punished with throttled Internet speeds, banned from air travel, and denied lodging.
 
To protect Pennsylvanians, in the near future we will be introducing the Liberty, Virtue and Independence Act to prohibit any business or corporation doing business in the Commonwealth from using ESG scores as a sole condition of financing or providing services, to prevent ESG scores from being exclusively or primarily used in decision-making in consumer transactions, and to block state Treasury and retirement plans from exclusively utilizing ESG scores when making investment decisions.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this timely legislation aimed at fulfilling our highest duty − protecting the freedoms of individual Pennsylvanians.



Introduced as HB2799