August 4, 2023

Will You Be Impacted by ESG Scoring?

There are rumors circulating Wise County regarding Wells Fargo shutting down a man’s bank account without explanation…

Turns out, the rumors are true.

Recently Wise County resident Bill Vaughan was shocked to receive a letter from Wells Fargo that his account had been cancelled for “business reasons.” Vaughan, who has been a customer with Wells Fargo since 2008, received the cancelation letter and a check with the balance of his business account. Given that Bill does substantial business and depends upon his bank account and credit card for his family’s livelihood, he was naturally shocked and spent hours on the phone wading through 6 levels of management. The only thing he was told by any representative of the company was that “we’ve made a business decision.” Bill stated that his account was consistently in good standing and there was no warning or indication that anything was wrong.

Interestingly, Bill is outspoken online about his conservative political views.

While there is no way to independently verify that this “debanking” is a result of ESG and social credit scores, it raises the question — What if it is?

Recently, it has come to light that JPMorgan Chase has reportedly been cancelling accounts of conservatives and conservative organizations. Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known advocate for medical freedom, was also “debanked” by JPMorgan Chase, along with all of his associates and their families. This recent flood of reports prompted Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to threaten to halt any future state business with JPMorgan Chase.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores have become an all-too powerful tool to influence our behavior and challenge our traditional way of life. The reality is that ESG scoring coerces businesses into practices that don’t always align with our values.

The Texas Legislature’s response to ESG scoring was the passage of Senate Bill 833 — which simply falls short of comprehensively protecting Texans from this form of scoring. While the bill prohibits insurers from considering ESG criteria when setting insurance rates, it lacks enforceable penalties and still allows companies to factor in other elements that may include ESG factors under the guise of “relevant and related risks.”

Instead of focusing on financial considerations, ESG scores measure factors like the percentage of employees under collective bargaining agreements or diversity indicators. If you own a business in Texas and you don’t meet these subjective standards, you run the risk of losing investments or even having your bank account shut down.

Beyond the negative impact ESG scoring has on businesses, they also hurt the people of Texas. ESG scores compel speech, violating our First Amendment right. Sadly, the Texas legislature could have made a stand against ESG and they failed. Texans deserve the freedom to make decisions based on our own values and belief systems, and I will fight to ensure that ESG scoring is prohibited in the Lone Star State.