12 state AGs challenge Calif. AG on green agenda

Monday, June 26, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Calif. state sealAttorneys general continue to call on California Insurance Commissioner David Jones to stop what many are calling “threats” to insurance companies.

A dozen state attorneys general maintain that Jones is requiring insurance companies to publicly disclose investment in fossil fuels, while urging companies to sign a "pledge" to divest from the coal industry.

According to Attorney General Mike Hunter (R-Ok.), there will be legal action if Jones does not cease and desist his ultra-green agenda.

"Essentially, Commissioner Jones is attempting to bully insurance companies licensed to do business in California from investing in coal, hydrocarbon – any companies that are resource-based in terms of production and exploration of hydrocarbons," Hunter told OneNewsNow. "We are – in a word – perplexed by the actions of the commissioner."

Hunter contends that if the commissioner was really worried about risky investments by insurance companies, he would be warning them about investments in renewables.

"For instance, there have been over 100 solar energy companies [that have] failed in recent times," the legal expert explained. "So, the whole thing for us is just very difficult to swallow, understand – and for those of us who are in oil-producing states or coal-producing states and also have insurance companies doing business in California, we think it's fundamentally unfair … and we also believe that his actions are illegal and unconstitutional."

Jones insists that he and the California Insurance Commissioner's Office are "undeterred by oil and coal state threats of lawsuits challenging his requirement that insurers disclose climate risks."

"While politicians in coal, gas and oil states continue to deny the existence of climate change, California has concluded –based on overwhelming scientific evidence – that climate change is real," reads the statement from the commissioner's office issued by Jones. "The threats of lawsuits by 12 red state attorneys general and one governor are not going to stop me from doing my job as insurance commissioner to make sure that insurance companies are recognizing potential financial risks associated with climate change."

Along with Oklahoma AG Hunter, the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming – along with the governor of Kentucky – signed the letter.

"The threats made by the California Insurance Commissioner will hurt families, businesses and insurance carriers across the nation," Attorney General Paxton (R-Texas) asserted. "These requirements are misguided, unrelated to insurance regulation, and are clearly politically driven. We will not stand by while negligent, politically motivated requirements harm the livelihood of thousands of U.S. citizens."

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