The ESG Movement Is a Ripe Target for Antitrust Action

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine challenges the wisdom of the political core of the environmental, social and governance movements: restricting oil and gas investments. In addition to causing hydrocarbon shortages and strengthening the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, the coordinated effort to curb oil and gas production may violate US antitrust laws. This combination of bad politics and legal risk will likely prove too much for for-profit ESG supporters, and the movement will lose much of its support.

ESG standards are top-down and mandatory for one simple reason: suppressing oil and gas consumption is unpopular. Faced with these political imperatives, the ESG movement has avoided taxing hydrocarbons and has focused on undemocratic efforts to restrict oil and gas supplies by elite institutions, particularly corporate boards. This strategy has delivered spectacular results. Look at the movement’s victory over Exxon Mobil last year. The ESG Movement Is a Ripe Target for Antitrust Action

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