Kentucky is the latest U.S. state to threaten to divest from financial institutions that have allegedly “boycotted” energy companies.
In a Tuesday press release, Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball warned that the state may divest from 11 financial institutions, including BlackRock, JP Morgan, and Citigroup, for avoiding investing in the energy sector.
“When companies boycott fossil fuels, they intentionally choke off the lifeblood of capital to Kentucky’s signature industries,” Ball said in the press release. “Kentucky must not allow our signature industries to be irreparably damaged based upon the ideological whims of a select few.”
Within 30 days of the exclusion list being published, state agencies must notify the treasury if they have indirect or direct holdings in any of these institutions and send a notice to those institutions.
The financial institutions will then have 90 days to end their boycott of energy companies or they risk being subject to divestment.
Kentucky is the latest in a long line of Republican states to divest from fund managers due to their ESG credentials. Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia took similar steps last year.
In October, BlackRock set up a dedicated webpage to “set the record straight” on its energy investing, noting it has invested $170 billion on behalf of its clients in U.S. energy companies, including oil and gas pipelines and power generation facilities.