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C3 Solutions and Center-Right Leaders Unveil Free-market, Pro-growth Investment Principles Related to ESG

C3 Solutions sent a letter to Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, this week discouraging them from enacting bans or mandates targeting investment decisions of individuals, pension funds, or businesses. The letter, sent with other organizations including the National Taxpayers Union and American Action Fund, comes as conservatives are debating the best way to counter the often heavy handed and top down ESG movement. 

>>>READ: Biden Goes Full Radical in Defense of ESG Investing

Nick Loris, Vice President of Policy at C3 Solutions, said, “Policymakers should defend and safeguard investor freedom, not use the cudgel of the government to limit, dictate or ban what individuals and businesses want to do. Protecting investments from politicization will be best for retirees and the teachers, firefighters and other public servants relying on a public pension – all while using the powerful force of markets to drive environmental progress forward.”

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The letter builds on C3 Solutions’ “Free Enterprise Approach to ESG” paper and our 2024 Candidate Briefing Book, which encourages candidate to prioritize an economic freedom message and agenda. 

The full letter and principles are below: 

Dear Chairman McHenry and Ranking Member Waters,

We, the undersigned organizations, write to Congress concerning a noticeable increase in heavy-handed policy and rulemaking focused on environmental and social considerations, sometimes referred to as “ESG,” which has resulted in market distortions and reduced economic freedom. These politically motivated actions, driven by extreme positions in both parties, carry outsized ramifications for taxpayers, families, and businesses in a time of intense change and grave economic uncertainty.

Safeguarding Americans’ investments is paramount. Governments already have all the tools to protect investors, empower markets, provide clarity, and avoid politicization. There is no need to pass more bans or mandates targeting the investment decisions of individuals, pension funds, or businesses. Our elected leaders must resist the urge to empower government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers in the private sector. Ideologically driven mandates from both parties only harm average Americans’ retirement accounts and waste taxpayer dollars.

Today, our set of organizations are releasing a set of principles that can drive economic growth, innovation, and environmental progress:

1.       Reject the creep of Big Government interventions; Promote limited-government and pro-growth policies that eliminate red tape and reduce tax burdens.

2.       Protect pensions and investments from politicization. Do not ban nor mandate certain types of investment decisions that are outside the realm of maximizing return on investments by individuals or entities in the free market.

3.       Ensure fiduciaries uphold the Duty of Care and Loyalty at all times and act in the interests of their clients.

4.       Remove the shackles of government and allow businesses, pension funds, and individuals to responsibly plan for future uncertainties in a time of rising prices and increased debt.

5.       Encourage business-friendly environments with free and informed capital. Do not interfere with the free flow of capital.

6.       Allow businesses to voluntarily adopt sustainable practices or address the social considerations of their workforce free from government mandates.

7.       Keep the government out of boardrooms and reject politically motivated efforts to steer government business away from or towards certain companies based on narrow political agendas.

As you assess the potential for legislation or regulatory action this year, we ask that Congress defend and preserve the freedom of individuals, pension funds, and corporations to make market-informed investment decisions that are grounded in pro-growth and pro-freedom guiding principles.


Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union

David Williams, President, Taxpayer Protection Alliance

Devin Hartman, Director, R Street

James Dozier, President, Centerline

Chris Barnard, President, American Conservation Coalition

Nick Loris, Vice President, C3 Solutions

Thomas Kingsley, Director, American Action Forum

Carlos, Curbelo, former Member of Congress

John Szoka CEO Conservative Energy Network

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

Copyright © 2020 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions

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