A United Nations-backed group of banks and money managers — including those hired by our own State Investment Board — is working to eliminate carbon emissions in the name of climate change
The group is called the Net-Zero Banking Alliance and is part of a campaign to effectively phase out fossil fuels.
But this group is now under investigation by attorney generals in 19 states, including for allowing an international body to set credit and investment policies for U.S. companies, including companies here in North Dakota.
Last week, we asked North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley if he has joined the investigation or plans to join the Republican Attorney General, but he hasn’t responded yet.
So we looked to our neighbor to the west — where Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has joined the multi-state investigation.
If these banking firms were to succeed and fossil fuel-related projects starved of loans and investment, how would that hurt the economies of Montana and other states, such as the general economy of North Dakota?
“Well, let’s start with what you just mentioned. I mean, let’s talk about your, your state pension funds. You have some state employees, I’m sure there are thousands, like Montana, who are invested in your state pension funds. And those state pension funds are very often invested in these traditional energy production companies, whether it’s oil and gas, or coal production, and that’s because they’re stable industries. In general, these are profitable sectors. And while they’re a good safe investment for your state pension funds, if we get outside money managers and big banks to tell those investment funds to divest from those safe investments, that’s going to hurt your number one retirees, but number two, let’s do it. about the state economy. You know, North Dakota is, very much like Montana, we are very energy production states. I’m from northeastern Montana. I know the Bakken very well. I am very familiar with McKenzie County and Williams County, North Dakota. We just crossed the line that we also have the Bakken in Montana. That’s a huge source of tax revenue for the state treasury, not to mention a huge source of local revenue for cities like Williston, like Watford City, like Dickinson, bottom of the list. And if we get in on that, and start now with outside third parties in your banks and your investment managers, investment starts to push out of those sectors. That will be hugely damaging not only to our state economy, but also to the state’s tax revenues. And that’s why this is so dangerous and so misleading,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen explains.
Should an international body like the United Nations determine lending and investment policies for American companies?
“Absolutely not. I cannot say more emphatically that the United Nations has no legal authority in the state of Montana. The United Nations has no legal authority in the state of North Dakota. So why in the world are our state banks in North Dakota and Montana taking investment advice of the United Nations? Those banks have fiduciary obligations that they owe to retirees in North Dakota and in Montana, as well as just your general investors in those states. As I said, traditional energy investment is typically a safe, profitable place to park your money and your pension fund Because we need traditional energy to power the US economy We have yet to figure out how to run a tractor on electric batteries We need traditional energy we need diesel we need we have to have everything to have oil and gas I don’t have to tell anyone in North Dakota it’s in on she stands 30 and can go 40 lower, just like in yours. Guess what? The solar panels and the wind turbines don’t work when it’s that cold. It is quite difficult to heat your house with wind and solar energy. We need traditional energy like this. And the United Nations has absolutely no business in banking and investing like this. And that’s why you see states like Montana pushing back,” Knutsen said.
KX News has also started reaching out to the banks – such as Wells Fargo – and we are waiting for an answer.