On The Money – BlackRock responds to the GOP for green investing

The world’s largest wealth manager defends its drive for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment from a Republican survey. We will also observe the declining popularity of big business and the Democratic pushback to a deal with Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.).

But first, five issues that will decide the mid-term elections.

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Wall Street responds to Republicans in the ESG war

The Wall Street giants are defending a widespread initiative to invest in companies with environmentally friendly policies, moving away from investments in the fossil fuel industry following attacks on the practice by GOP leaders.

Wealth management giant BlackRock has written a letter to GOP states that are trying to curb a social movement in the financial sector known as Environmental and Social Corporate Governance (ESG), which seeks to move the US economy away from fossil fuels that contribute to global temperature rise.

Background:

  • Nineteen attorneys general, mostly from Republican-led states, wrote a letter to BlackRock in August asking about its investment practices.
  • The Attorney General said BlackRock is pursuing a political agenda instead of investing solely for the purpose of obtaining the best return on the company’s investment.

The company responded that it favors companies that support the fossil fuel transition not because it pursues a political agenda, but because these companies represent a better long-term investment.

“We believe that investors and companies that take a forward-looking stance on climate risk and its implications for the energy transition will generate better long-term financial results,” BlackRock said in a letter to Attorneys General.

The Hill’s Tobias Burns has more here.

BY DAY

Americans’ views on the business sector hit a 14-year low

American business sentiment plummeted this year due to historic inflation, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

The survey found that 36% of Americans have a positive view of business, down from 45% before the pandemic. This is the lowest score since the Great Recession in 2008.

  • The acid mood appears to stem from the price surge, with the popularity of the food and real estate industry plummeting further.
  • Food prices have risen 13.1% over the past 12 months, while the affordability of housing has fallen to the lowest level since the Great Recession.
  • Democrats’ opinion of business declined more than Republicans after their party attempted to tie historic inflation to corporate greed.

Karl has more here.

WITHDRAWAL OF THE PERMIT

More than 70 Democrats in the House join the push against Manchin’s permit reform

More than 70 Democrats in the House are signing a letter urging Democratic leaders not to include a side agreement with Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) on reforming the authorization process for energy projects in a bill that funds the government.

Permitted reform language was offered to Manchin to get his vote on the massive climate, tax and health care bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act that was signed by President Biden last month.

  • If the group follows the letter, the Democrats may not have the votes to pass a government funding bill if it includes the Manchin-backed language.
  • Without an interim funding measure, the government will close on 1 October.

Rachel Frazin has more here.

Biden: Time to get rid of the “Rust Belt” label.

President Biden on Friday celebrated the opening of a new Intel factory in Ohio for semiconductor manufacturing, tying the main investment directly to a bipartisan bill he signed last month to fund the chips.

Biden visited Licking County, near Columbus, to join state and federal officials from both sides in promoting the economic benefits of the $ 20 billion facility. Biden and business leaders attending the groundbreaking project said it was a sign of an evolving economy in the region.

“It’s time to bury the ‘Rust Belt’ label,” Biden said, suggesting instead that the area should be renamed “Silicon Heartland”.

Brett Samuels has more here.

Good to know

More than 97 percent of California is in at least “severe” drought conditions, raising the specter of tough agricultural decisions in a state that produces a quarter of US food.

Agriculture is the main driver of water use in the state, and drought, now in its third year, is accompanied by increasing pressure on California to bear the brunt of the Colorado River’s water cuts.

Here’s what else we have an eye on:

  • The increase in the minimum wage will benefit millions of American workers, advocates say, lifting them out of poverty and increasing workers’ family resources, but it has remained intact for over a decade.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and checking The Hill financial page for the latest news and coverage. I’ll see you next week!

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