Kentucky is the latest state to push back against the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement. 

State Treasurer Allison Ball officially published a Restricted Financial Institutions List barring 11 companies from state banking contracts for engaging in “energy company boycotts” against fossil fuel companies. 

The listed banks include finance giants like BlackRock, Inc., Citigroup Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Bluegrass State’s energy sector employs nearly 144,000 people–or 7.8% of total state employment. Ball noted that 94.5% of the Commonwealth’s electricity generation comes from this sector.

“When companies boycott fossil fuels, they intentionally choke off the lifeblood of capital to Kentucky’s signature industries,” Ball said in a statement. “Traditional energy sources fuel our Kentucky economy, provide much needed jobs, and warm our homes. Kentucky must not allow our signature industries to be irreparably damaged based upon the ideological whims of a select few.”

The Restricted Financial Institutions List originates from Senate Bill 205, legislation that was signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) in May 2022. 

This list mirrors West Virginia’s Restricted Financial Institutions List, which barred five financial institutions, including many of the aforementioned institutions, from state contracts. 

As I previously noted here at IWF, states have already taken proactive measures against the ESG movement: 

With Florida’s latest move, a total of $5.2 billion in BlackRock assets have been withdrawn. Previously, West Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Utah cumulatively withdrew $3.2 billion in assets.

With ESG funds underperforming in 2022 and Republican pushback expected in Congress and states, the issue isn’t going away. 

Learn how IWF is engaging on the issue HERE.