Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen told KGVO News that he has joined several other state attorneys general in questioning ESG (Environmental Social Governance) investments in energy company investments.

"ESG, we're just seeing it more and more,” began Attorney General Knudsen. “So what we're talking about with ESG is Environmental Social Governance. What this is, is really ‘liberal woke’ interests infiltrating into business and trying to move societal goals through pressures in business. Well, why does Montana care? Because in this particular instance I joined on with 11 of my colleagues is a great example, because we've got ESG now creeping into energy.”

AG Knudsen wants 'Woke' Investment Firms out of Montana Energy

Knudsen says he and the other state attorneys general are concerned that these firms will use their investments in power companies to force them away from traditional fossil fuel energy sources to green sources of energy, such as wind and solar.

“What we've got going on here is we've got this handful of big investment firms who are trying to insert themselves into public utilities,” he said. “What they're trying to do is drive your heating costs up there. They're trying to cost your utilities more money by pushing them out of reliable traditional energy sources. And that's really where we've pushed back here.”

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Knudsen Singled out Vanguard for Their Investments

Knudsen singled out Vanguard as one company that is actively seeking to invest in smaller regional energy producers like Northwestern Energy.

“Vanguard is an ultra-woke, ultra-liberal, high-dollar investment firm,” he said. “And they've asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to buy more stock in public utilities, like Northwestern energy, right? Most Montanans get their heating from Northwestern Energy. Vanguard has to get permission from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to purchase stock in public utilities like Northwestern Energy.”

Knudsen Believes ESG will Drive Montana Energy Bills Higher

Knudsen said Vanguard itself is clear about its purpose in these energy company investments.

“By Vanguard's own words, through their own advertisements, and their own partnerships and a lot of stuff they've gotten involved in,” he said. “This is an ultra-liberal group that is interested in getting America to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions, and whatever you think about that, we know that's going to have very detrimental effects on our energy markets and on our state’s economy. Because of that, my colleagues and I have stepped in and we've asked FERC to stop this, and we've asked FERC to not allow this authorization and to go forward and hold a hearing on this.”

AG Knudsen will appear soon live in the KGVO studio on Talk Back to speak more about this issue and others, especially the upcoming legislative session.

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