Pensions sued for going green, giving up profits from oil industry

May 12, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Several New York pension funds are being sued for going politically correct – and giving up the profits from the oil industry that the owners of the money in those funds well could have used during their retirements.

Bloomberg reports it's a warning to other funds that are considering going with an ESG political agenda, which emphasizes green ideologies over making the most for the fund owners.

The plaintiffs claim the plans' decisions to get rid of some $4 billion in fossil fuel investments is "a misguided and ineffectual gesture to address climate change."

The complaint was filed in New York state court on behalf of the fund owners by lawyer Eugene Scalia, Donald Trump's former labor secretary.

The plaintiffs charge the funds actually have "a duty to act prudently in making investment decisions."

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander's office said, "While we don’t comment on pending litigation, we take our fiduciary duty very seriously."

The vote by trustees to abandon the fossil fuel industry was made to protect beneficiaries from "the financial risks of investing in fossil-fuel reserves," according to the statement.

ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance, and it's a new move among corporations to abandon making the best return for fund owners or shareholders and instead adopting the climate change ideology and more. It also stresses having quoteas of minorities on corporate boards and in management.

Republicans have begun investigating Wall Street’s ESG efforts and introduced anti-ESG bills. States including Texas and Florida already have restricted business with banks and investment firms that push to address climate change and workforce diversity.

The funds involved are the New York City Employees' Retirement System, the Teachers' Retirement System, and the Board of Education Retirement System.

The case contends they violated their obligations to fund owners when they adopted the political agenda. They are accused of making decisions without "regard for whether those assets would produce a superior return for the plans."

There are about $180 billion in assets in the three funds. At the time, pension funds for police and firefighters decided against taking the political agenda to heart.

The plaintiffs, identified as a subway train operator, a teacher, and an occupational therapist in the city’s school system, are asking for financial damages, including reimbursement of losses caused by the divestment actions.

The ESG agenda claims that climate change presents a "risk" to investments and must be considered.

Oil industry interests saw their stock values surge to new levels over the last year.

The Washington Examiner said the plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the funds breached – and continue to breach – the fiduciary duties they owe to fund owners.

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