How Republicans Are ‘Weaponizing’ Public Office Against Climate Action

Nearly two dozen Republican state treasurers around the country are working to thwart climate action on state and federal levels, fighting regulations that would make clear the economic risks posed by a warming world, lobbying against climate-minded nominees to key federal posts and using the tax dollars they control to punish companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past year, treasurers in nearly half the United States have been coordinating tactics and talking points, as part of a well-funded campaign to protect the fossil fuel companies that bolster their local economies. At the nexus of these efforts is the State Financial Officers Foundation, a little-known nonprofit organization based in Shawnee, Kansas, that once focused on cybersecurity, borrowing costs and managing debt loads, among other routine issues. The foundation began pushing Republican state treasurers, who are mostly elected officials and who are responsible for managing their state’s finances, to use their power to promote oil and gas interests and to stymie Biden’s climate agenda, records show. Behind the treasurers and the State Financial Officers Foundation is a complex web of conservative groups linked to the fossil fuel industry, as well as some of the biggest names on Wall Street.

By David Gelles. New York Times. August 5, 2022.

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