Oklahoma AG Fires Lawyers After Court Ruling Blocking Law Against ESG

The attorney general of Oklahoma revealed that he is firing the outside team of lawyers that had been contracted to defend the state’s position regarding a law that seeks to bar pension systems from doing business with companies that restrict their investments in oil and gas ventures. The AG’s announcement came a few days after a judge issued a temporary injunction blocking Oklahoma from implementing that law.

In a recent statement, Republican AG Gentner Drummond revealed that he was firing the legal team from Plaxico Law Firm. He added that team members had been handpicked by Todd Russ, treasurer of the state. The attorney general added that he would also strip Russ of any power to make decisions regarding the ESG law’s defense with immediate effect.

Drummond’s decision comes in the wake of last Tuesday’s ruling by a state judge that a retiree was poised to win their legal challenge against the ESG law for being “vaguely” written and violating Oklahoma state law. Consequently, the judge blocked the implementation of that law until the ongoing lawsuit is concluded.

In the statement, Drummond expressed his disappointment with the legal team selected by the state treasurer, given the importance of the law that is at stake. He said that there was a grave risk of the law being nullified, which would, in his view, deny the people of Oklahoma the protection they needed.

Russ also released a statement. He revealed that he had requested the AG to take charge of defending the law in court, but these requests were ignored. He asserted that his liberty to decide on the ongoing litigation couldn’t be removed legally. It should be noted that both officials are Republicans. Russ said there were grounds for the state to appeal against the ruling of the court, observing that all along he had banked on the attorney general as his defender.

Attorneys from Plaxico didn’t comment on the unfolding events.

The Oklahoma law, passed in 2022, is only one of dozens of anti-ESG bills in different states passed with the backing of Republicans. These laws are intended to fight back against Wall Street companies looking to undermine funding to fossil fuel entities “purportedly” to combat climate change. Despite efforts to curtail climate change by limiting funding to fossil fuel businesses, many leading financial institutions have continued to support enterprises in the oil and gas industry, and some financial entities have even backtracked on their involvement with ESG-driven efforts.

Detractors aside, ESG seems to be enjoying growing support among enterprises such as Coyuchi Inc. that are integrating it to make their operations favorable to the environment and communities while leaning on sound governance structures.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Coyuchi Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/COYU

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