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Republican Senators Warn Law Firms on ESG-Related Antitrust Violations

Continuing the ongoing anti-ESG push by Republican politicians, several Republican senators sent a letter to U.S. law firms warning them about the advice they provide to clients regarding ESG initiatives and to be prepared for congressional oversight hearings. 

The letter claims that the “ESG movement attempts to weaponize corporations to reshape society in ways that Americans would never endorse at the ballot box.” Signatories include Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). 

The letter points out a “particular concern” that there is a “collusive effort to restrict the supply of coal, oil, and gas,” resulting in higher energy costs and “empowering America’s adversaries,” and warns the firms of plans for Congress to “use its oversight powers to scrutinize the institutionalized antitrust violations being committed in the name of ESG, and refer those violations to the FTC and the Department of Justice.”

If Republicans gain majorities in one or both chambers of the 118th Congress, anti-ESG legislative proposals and oversight hearings will be a priority. Anti-ESG legislative proposals will likely pass out of congressional committees, but President Biden would almost certainly veto such efforts, making enactment of such legislation unlikely even if they did somehow make it through both Congressional chambers.  In the meantime, anticipate additional states to join Utah, Texas, and West Virginia in enacting laws discouraging ESG practices.

Published on: November 11, 2022

Authors: Chatrane Birbal

Topics: Employment Law, ESG and Diversity & Inclusion, Washington Updates

Chatrane Birbal

Vice President, Government Relations, HR Policy Association

Detailed Bio

Contact Chatrane Birbal LinkedIn

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