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House Judiciary Chairman Jordan to Subpoena BlackRock and Three Other Firms in Antitrust Probe

 |  December 13, 2023

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, is set to issue subpoenas to BlackRock and three other financial firms as part of an ongoing inquiry into potential violations of federal antitrust laws related to their climate-related efforts. Bloomberg reported that Glass Lewis, State Street, and Institutional Shareholder Services are among the firms targeted for the upcoming subpoenas.

This move follows Jordan’s recent subpoenas to investment firms Vanguard and Arjuna Capital, which were issued in connection to allegations of collusion in committing to invest in the promotion and adoption of “left-wing environmental, social, and governance goals.”

In a statement, Jordan expressed dissatisfaction with the responses from Vanguard and Arjuna Capital, stating that their “overall response to date has been inadequate.” The subpoenas to Vanguard and Arjuna Capital were part of the committee’s broader investigation into potential violations of U.S. antitrust law by entering into agreements to “decarbonize” assets under management and reduce emissions to net zero.

Jordan, in a letter to Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley in July, highlighted concerns about the potential impact of such agreements on Americans’ freedom and economic well-being. He argued that the agreements would require drastic reductions in the use of coal, oil, and gas, potentially leading to significant consequences for industries and consumers.

“These collusive agreements to ‘decarbonize’ and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 would require draconian declines in the use of coal, oil, and gas, with potential far-reaching consequences for American freedom and economic well-being,” Jordan wrote in his letter.

The House Judiciary Chairman’s scrutiny of firms involved in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices is not a new development. In November, Jordan issued subpoenas to shareholder advocacy firm As You Sow and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a coalition of 650 financial institutions aligned on ESG goals.

House Republicans have been increasingly critical of ESG practices since last year, with Jordan leading the charge in investigating and raising concerns about potential antitrust violations related to climate-related efforts by major financial institutions. The subpoenas to BlackRock and the other firms indicate a continuation of these efforts and a commitment to a thorough examination of the intersection between ESG initiatives and antitrust laws.

Source: Banking Drive