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black rock is defending its position on environmental, social and governance-related initiatives, which have been criticized by several state attorneys general in the past month, according to news reports.

In a letter dated Aug. 4, a total of 19 Republican state attorneys general accused the asset manager of violating state laws, using client funds to “circumvent” best return over possible investment and attempting to “intentionally withhold and harm the competitiveness of the energy markets,” according to FA-IQ sister publication FundFire.

“Your letter makes several inaccurate statements about BlackRock’s motive for participating in various ESG-related initiatives,” wrote Dalia Blass, senior managing director and head of external affairs for the company, in a 10-page response letter shared with the media on Wednesday. “In managing our clients’ assets, BlackRock seeks to achieve the best long-term financial results in accordance with each client’s investment guidelines. Our participation in these initiatives is entirely consistent with our fiduciary obligations.

Blass also pushed back against attorneys general’s claims that its ESG approach raised antitrust concerns, writing that the company does not “coordinate our votes or investment decisions with outside groups or organizations,” according to the publication.

Blass also countered the claim that Blackrock “dictated” emissions targets to companies or what lobbying they should engage in, according to FundFire.

“That is the role of the company’s management team and the board – it is not the responsibility of minority investors such as BlackRock,” she wrote, according to the publication.

BlackRock took a different stance when it was one of many companies targeted for their ESG stance in Texas.

Late last month, the Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announcement that the state had added 10 companies, including BlackRock, to a blacklist of financial firms banned from monitoring public pension funds because of their “boycott” of energy companies.

In response, BlackRock and other companies on the list bragged about their oil and energy investments.

“We have never turned our backs on the oil and gas companies in Texas,” the US head of BlackRock said. Marc McCombetold the Financial Times.

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