ESG Advocacy Group Subpoenaed to Appear Before House Judiciary Cmte. Regarding Potential ‘Collusion,’ Antitrust Violations

Craig Bannister | June 14, 2023
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A climate advocacy group named Ceres was subpoenaed Wednesday by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), in a probe into potential antitrust violations relating to Ceres’ efforts to promote its liberal environmental, social and governance (ESG) ideology.

At the heart of its investigation is the issue of whether or not Ceres is fostering anticompetitive collusion in the investment industry, the subpoena’s cover letter explains:

“To advance our oversight and inform potential legislation related to collusive ESG policies, the Committee must understand how and to what extent Ceres and Climate Action 100+ facilitate collusion to promote ESG-related goals.”

“Ceres’s response without compulsory process has been inadequate,” the letter explains, noting that Ceres had previously given the committee “repeated assurances” it would cooperate, yet failed to fully comply with requests for information.

“Accordingly, please find enclosed a subpoena,” the letter concludes.

The subpoena to Ceres CEO Mindy Lubber, reportedly, calls for Lubber to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on July 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

Chairman Jordan has been quoted referring to one of Ceres’ climate cohorts, Climate Action 100+, as a “cartel,” The Daily Caller notes:

“In May, Jordan sent Lubber a letter claiming that Ceres — a sustainability organization — appears to ‘facilitate collusion’ through a company called Climate Action 100+, which may be violating U.S. antitrust law. Jordan has compared Climate Action 100+ to a ‘cartel’ that pressures businesses to take action on climate change.”

Both Ceres and Climate Action 100+ “facilitate companies' adoption of ESG-related goals in ways that may violate U.S. antitrust law,” Rep. Jordan says in a press release announcing his issuance of the subpoena:

“Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) issued a subpoena for documents and communications related to the efforts of Ceres and Climate Action 100+ to advance environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. These entities facilitate companies' adoption of ESG-related goals in ways that may violate U.S. antitrust law.”

Ceres’ inadequate response to the committee’s request for information “included a number of duplicative documents, many documents that are publicly available, and several documents with excessive redactions,” Jordan says in the release.

In general, ESG is an initiative through which companies use their financial leverage to promote liberal ideological and political goals - even at the expense of their clients’ or organization’s best financial interests. Their methods include discriminatory granting or denial of loans, banning or targeting investments, and pressuring those seeking capital to comply with ESG mandates.