Not all of Devon’s top brass have been so reticent to declare their side in the ESG war. Devon CEO Rick Muncrief sits on the board of directors of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance. Earlier this year, DEPA urged board members of the American Legislative Exchange Council to adopt the “Eliminate Economic Boycotts Act” as an official model policy. Modeled on legislation first passed in Texas, the bill would require state comptrollers to stop doing business with banks and asset managers they deem to be boycotting energy companies.
The group’s rationale for backing the model policy directly contradicts what Harrison told me about “woke” investors not being a major problem. “Banks are increasingly denying financing to creditworthy companies solely for the purposes of marketing their environmental or social justice credentials, to the detriment of their clients and shareholders,” reads a letter from DEPA to ALEC board members that was obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog group. “Institutional investors are divesting from entire industries and pressuring companies to commit to environmental goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, or social goals, such as diversity quotas, at the expense of investor returns.”