Far-Left Environmental Activists Learn “Don’t Mess with Texas”

Far-Left Environmental Activists Learn “Don’t Mess with Texas”

May 5, 2021

The Texas Legislature advanced two bills this week that strike back at some of the favorite tactics employed by radical environmentalists.

Legislation approved by the Texas House would require state entities to divest from companies that cut ties or ‘boycott’ fossil fuel companies. For years, eco-activists have pushed Wall Street investors to pull their financial support from companies that produce needed oil and natural gas. This bill would ensure that Texas taxpayers don’t have to support companies seeking to eradicate an industry critical for American competitiveness. The bill now goes back to the Senate for review before going to the governor for his signature.

Another bill was passed by the Texas Senate that would prohibit municipalities in the state from banning the use of natural gas as a fuel source when constructing new homes or other buildings. The legislation is in response to cities in California and elsewhere that are requiring new homes or buildings be heated with electricity rather than gas. These restrictions give consumers fewer energy choices, and put the government’s finger on the scale against the reliability and affordability of natural gas. The bill will now go to Governor Abbott for his signature.

Power The Future applauds Texas for standing up for natural gas, and standing up to radical environmental policies. Strategies like pushing investors to divest from natural gas and oil companies are more about virtue signaling than the environment. In fact, one United Kingdom professor argues such divestments will actually just increase market share for state-owned oil companies that are far less responsive to environmental concerns.

The primary targets of the divestment movement are international oil companies (IOCs) – private corporations that are headquartered in Western countries and listed on public stock exchanges. …

The rest is mostly produced by national oil companies (NOCs) – state-owned behemoths such as Saudi Aramco, National Iranian Oil Company, China National Petroleum Corporation and Petroleos de Venezuela, located mostly in low and middle income countries.

Given that NOCs are less transparent about their operations than are IOCs, and that many of them are also headquartered in authoritarian countries, they are less exposed to pressure from civil society.

This means that while global demand for natural gas and oil is still rising, and investments are insufficient to meet future demand, divestment pressures are unlikely to impact the business plans of NOCs. As a result, instead of reducing global fossil fuel production, the divestment movement will simply force IOCs to cede market share to NOCs.

Once again, we see how environmentalists’ favorite energy policies just push American energy dependence overseas, raising prices for Americans and doing little to actually improve the environment.