News outlets are reporting that President Trump will sign executive orders attempting to make it harder for states to block pipelines and other energy projects due to environmental concerns. One of the executive orders asks the U.S. Department of Labor to scrutinize whether retirement funds that pursue environmental or socially progressive investment strategies are fulfilling their duty to maximize shareholder value.
Trump’s Executive Orders Seek to Expedite Pipelines, Energy Infrastructure
OAKLAND, CA-April 11, 2019-The Trump administration continues to drive the country backward with an announcement that it will sign a number of executive orders attempting to foist unwanted oil and gas pipelines on states and localities. The executive orders attempt to reduce states’ ability to protect citizens from water pollution, air pollution, and other harms associated with oil and gas pipelines.
“In deep denial of the world’s movement away from fossil fuels toward clean energy, these executive orders not only violate state’s rights and threaten citizen’s health, but use precious resources attempting to lock in outdated energy sources and the greenhouse gas emissions they produce,” Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, said. “A far better use of the administration’s energy would be to support American innovation and create jobs by leading the world toward a low-carbon economy.”
One of the executive orders asks the U.S. Department of Labor to scrutinize whether retirement funds that pursue environmental or socially progressive investment strategies are fulfilling their duty to maximize shareholder value. This order also flies in the face of a growing body of evidence showing that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are indeed fundamental to the financial success of a company.
“An example of the importance of ESG issues is climate change,” Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, said. “Investors that ignore the risks of climate change and the impact it will have on the economy can imperil their broader portfolios. Shareholder engagement on ESG issues is critical to promoting long-term value and risk avoidance.”