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Paxton Launches Investigation into S&P Global’s Use of ESG Factors in Credit Ratings, Potentially Violating Consumer Protection Laws

Attorney General Paxton joined a Missouri-led multistate investigation into S&P Global Inc. for potential violations of consumer protection laws. This is the second investigation by state attorneys general into a company providing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings, based upon alleged consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices.  

S&P’s published ESG credit indicators, ESG scores, and ESG evaluations appear to politicize what should be a purely financial decision and may deceptively confound the distinction between subjective opinions and objective financial facts.   

“Too many consumers and investors have been hurt by the woke ESG movement’s obsession with radical social change and willingness to ignore the law,” said Attorney General Paxton. “We’re investigating S&P Global to find out if they’ve engaged in the types of destructive, illegal business practices that are so pervasive in the ESG movement. If so, they will have to answer for their actions.” 

In August of 2022, Attorney General Paxton joined a multistate investigation into Morningstar, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sustainalytics, for potential violations of consumer protection and anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) laws. Attorney General Paxton also sent a letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, challenging his company’s reliance on ESG investment criteria rather than shareholder profits in managing state pension funds.   

To read the Civil Investigative Demand (CID) for S&P Global Inc., click here.