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Oklahoma attorney general fires legal team after judge blocks anti-ESG law: ‘Extremely disappointing’

Oklahoma’s attorney general mentioned he’s firing the surface legal team employed to defend a state regulation prohibiting state pension methods from contracting with corporations that restrict funding within the oil and fuel trade, days after a judge quickly blocked the statute’s enforcement.

Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond in a press release on Thursday mentioned he was firing counsel on the Plaxico Law Firm, which he mentioned was handpicked by state Treasurer Todd Russ to defend the regulation. Drummond mentioned he would additionally take away Russ from any decision-making authority over the legal protection going ahead.

The determination got here after a state judge on Tuesday issued a brief injunction blocking enforcement of the regulation in oil-rich Oklahoma. The judge discovered {that a} retired state worker who’s difficult the measure was probably to achieve his lawsuit alleging the regulation violates the state structure and is just too vaguely written.

Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond
Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond mentioned he was firing counsel on the Plaxico Law Firm. DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

“It is extremely disappointing that the counsel hired by Treasurer Russ was unable to secure a favorable ruling in defense of Oklahoma’s anti-ESG law,” Drummond mentioned, referring to so-called environmental, social and governance insurance policies.

“Because of this failure, the law is now on hold and at risk of being struck down entirely. Oklahomans deserve better.”

Russ, a fellow Republican, mentioned in a press release he had initially requested Drummond to defend the regulation in court docket, solely to have these requests rejected, and that he didn’t imagine his decision-making authority might legally be eliminated.

He added that he noticed grounds to attraction the court docket ruling and that he “had hoped to have the attorney general as my defender all along.”

An oil pumpjack is seen in Velma, Okla.
The determination got here after a state judge on Tuesday issued a brief injunction blocking enforcement of the regulation in oil-rich Oklahoma. REUTERS

Plaxico attorneys didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Oklahoma’s 2022 regulation is amongst dozens of Republican-sponsored ESG payments throughout the nation aimed toward defending fossil gasoline corporations from climate-driven constraints adopted by some Wall Street corporations.

Despite these considerations, main monetary establishments have largely rejected calls to divest from the oil and fuel industries, and a few have scaled again their involvement with teams in search of to strain main emitters.

BlackRock logo
State companies have been prohibited from doing enterprise with BlackRock, amongst different monetary corporations. REUTERS

The Oklahoma regulation prohibits state companies from doing enterprise with monetary corporations that restrict investments in vitality corporations, and requires the state treasurer to keep up a listing of these corporations even when they proceed to personal shares in fossil gasoline corporations.

Russ final 12 months included BlackRock, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America on the checklist.

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