ISSUE

Quick Take: If passed, the SB 13 would require the State of Texas and its entities (including state pension funds and the state’s huge K-12 school endowment) to cut ties with companies that refuse to invest in fossil fuels.

Scientific data tells us we must decrease reliance on fossil fuels to avoid climate catastrophe. It is clear that the future lies in renewable energy, and the movement to divest from fossil fuels has gained traction in recent years. Divestment allows banks, investment funds, and investors to prioritize the climate crisis when doing business. Texas has both realized and acted upon this when attracting forward-thinking businesses like Tesla.

SB 13 would force Texas to invest against its own interests and future economic strength. SB 13 seeks to rein in the free market, inhibit business innovation, and possibly also infringe on free speech. It could jeopardize Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly state.

Luke Metzger, the executive director of Environment Texas, says, “Lt. Gov. Patrick and his allies will be shooting themselves in their own feet in order to ‘own the libs.’ The state’s political leadership are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. They’re recruiting Fortune 500 companies to move here with promises that Texas can help them achieve carbon neutrality and then at the same time, undermining those very efforts in order to prop up the anachronistic, dangerous oil industry. They’re pledging action to prevent future blackouts and then doubling down on the fossil fuels that were responsible.”

SB 13 creates an intricate system of lists, reports, and oversight of companies that prefer not to transact with fossil fuel companies for whatever reason. This bill actually treats business interactions with certain business sectors in the state as it does hostile enemies of the US, like terrorists!

CONTACT THE SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Every Texan can contact every member of this committee. (Note, hearing scheduled for March 18 has been postponed/extended, so keep calling!)

You can say:

My name is_______. I am a Texan living in______ and my zip code is _____. I am {calling/writing} to urge you to vote NO on Senate Bill 13. SB 13 would require the State of Texas to cut ties with companies that refuse to invest in fossil fuels. Texas has a reputation as a business-friendly state and this bill would undercut this hard-earned reputation.

SB 13 would also force Texas to move against its own interests and future economic strength. It would distort the free market by artificially propping up the fossil fuel industry, inhibit innovation, and possibly also infringe on free speech.

Please VOTE NO on SB 13!

Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee

  • Chair: Brian Birdwell, (512) 463-0122, brian.birdwell@senate.texas.gov
  • Vice Chair: Judith Zaffrini, (512) 463-0121, judith.zaffirini@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Carol Alvarado, (512) 463-0106, carol.alvarado@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Kelly Hancock, (512) 463-0109, kelly.hancock@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, (512) 463-0120, luis.moreno@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Bryan Hughes, (512) 463-0101, bryan.hughes@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Lois Kolkhorst, (512) 463-0118, lois.kolkhorst@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Eddie Lucio, Jr., (512) 463-0127, eddie.lucio@senate.texas.gov
  • Member: Kel Seliger, (512) 463-0131, kel.seliger@senate.texas.gov

BACKGROUND

Texas Tribune: In oil-rich Texas, GOP lawmakers push bill to punish Wall Street for fossil fuel disinvestments

Gizmodo: Texas Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Penalize Businesses That ‘Boycott’ Fossil Fuels