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Oklahoma treasurer whittles down financial institution blacklist as millions in state investments hang in the balance

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

State Treasurer Todd Russ is paring down a so-called blacklist of financial companies the state is not supposed to do business with.

Oklahoma will still decline to work with financial heavy hitters like BlackRock, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.

But Russ’s headline-grabbing blacklist has been whittled down from 13 to six. That includes:

  • BlackRock, Inc.
  • Wells Fargo & Co.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Bank of America, N.A.
  • State Street Corp.
  • Climate First Bank

Russ has said the financial firms were found to be “boycotting” oil and gas companies or did not respond to requests for information from the state to clarify their positions on fossil fuel corporations.

“The State of Oklahoma should not be investing money with companies that boycott one of our own industries. These financial companies are using ESG policies to promote a political, social agenda instead of allowing the free enterprise system to work,” Russ said in a news release. “When a state boycotts a major industry like oil and gas, the result is less diversification of funds, which can lead to more risks and potentially lower returns for investors.”

State pension fund leaders and legal experts say there are millions of dollars in state investments that could be affected by the blacklist. Local governments have also said the list puts financing for their projects in “limbo,” according to reporting by Oklahoma Watch.

The move follows similar actions in at least a dozen other Republican-led states.

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Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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