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US Anti-ESG Campaign Could Cost Taxpayers US$708 Million

An anti-ESG campaign by US Republican state officials aiming to impede financial institutions due to their stance on issues such as climate change could cost the nation’s taxpayers as much as US$708 million, according to a report commissioned by the non-profit The Sunrise Project. The report noted that restrictions would see fewer banks looking to underwrite municipal bond issuance which, coupled with reduced competition to underwrite government bonds, would drive up interest payments. The study found that taxpayers in Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Missouri – the six states furthest along in restricting financial firms or considering doing so – could face an increase of between US$264 million and US$708 million in additional interest charges on municipal bonds over the past 12 months. Andrew Behar, CEO at shareholder advocacy group and study backer As You Sow, said: “Legislators will face the backlash of their constituents for flushing hundreds of millions of dollars down the toilet for their own political games.” 

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