Montana sues National Association of Attorneys General over ESG investing
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said NAAG has collected monetary damages from his state and others as a result of past legal settlements totaling $100 million, which need to be allocated
June 9, 2023 6:59am
Updated: June 9, 2023 6:59am
The State of Montana filed a lawsuit Thursday against a nonprofit organization of attorneys general hoping to recover state funds, alleging the group made investments that broke state law.
The lawsuit, filed by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in the state’s District Court, charges the National Association of Attorneys General, a bipartisan nonprofit, refuses to return taxpayer funds after making investments in ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) funds that violate Montana law.
“NAAG does not comply with Montana law governing how public money must be deposited or invested,” the Attorney General’s lawsuit said. “NAAG operates without oversight from the public officials and entities the Montana Legislature has created to safeguard Montana’s public funds.”
Knudsen, a Republican, said NAAG has collected monetary damages from his state and others as a result of past legal settlements totaling $100 million, which need to be allocated.
The state is requesting the court to intervene and assess how much money NAAG may have that is rightfully Montana’s.
NAAG reportedly did not immediately respond to a request for comment from various media outlets.
ESG is a financial philosophy that takes “social justice” and climate change theory into consideration when making financial strategic decisions, a concept conservatives reject.
NAAG has denied using state funds for ESG investments, but some GOP states have left the non-profit association, expressing concerns the group no longer represents bipartisan interests and instead favors the left.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican sued the organization first earlier this year for the same reasons.