OP-ED: Texas is fighting back against big businesses that threaten oil, gas jobs

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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Ted Cruz

In the past few years, we’ve seen a dangerous shift in American big business. Powerful CEOs have made the decision to use their companies to enforce the political agenda of today’s Democratic Party, which is controlled by the radical left.

Just this year, MLB pulled its All-Star game out of Georgia because the state legislature — elected by the people of Georgia — passed a common-sense election bill. In Texas, American Airlines spoke out against voting legislation moving through our Legislature. Coca-Cola, Amazon, Google, Delta Airlines and General Motors are only a handful of the big corporations that have weighed in on behalf of the radical left.

Big business isn’t just wielding its power to stop Republican voting bills. Corporations are also trying to punish the oil and gas industry to toe the left’s line on climate change.

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, announced that his firm would divest from fossil fuels to help combat climate change. JP Morgan Chase has followed suit and is instituting a rating system to judge companies on “environmental, social, and governance” issues, including climate change.

In response, Texas lawmakers are putting Main Street over Wall Street. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, filed Senate Bill 13, which would direct the Texas comptroller to form a list of investment companies that discriminate against the fossil fuel industry and the businesses that rely on it. If Texas state agencies are investing public funds with the firms that threaten the fossil fuel industry, the investment firms have 90 days to reverse course, or Texas state agencies will divest their funds from those firms.

As Birdwell said when SB 13 passed the Senate: “If you boycott Texas energy, Texas will boycott you.”

Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, is sponsoring SB 13 in the Texas House. On Monday, the House moved it one step closer to being law. SB 13 would protect Texas jobs against the woke mob, and I am particularly thankful to Birdwell and King for their leadership.

For too long, Republicans have turned a blind eye to corporate America’s pandering to the left. No more. Texas isn’t going to sit back and allow Wall Street and big business to destroy the American energy industry and millions of jobs across Texas and the nation with it.

There are 9,000 independent oil and gas companies in the U.S. that support 4.5 million jobs. In Texas, tax revenue from the oil and natural gas sector totaled $14 billion in state and local taxes as well as state royalties in 2020, helping fund our roads and schools.

And for big business to discriminate against the fossil fuel industry in the name of climate change is ridiculous — the U.S. has led the world in emissions reductions.

Sen. Ted Cruz column first published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on May 4, 2021.