By Brianna Lyman
Editor’s Summary: An executive of Brigham Minerals testified that a major bank threatened to withhold a loan unless he tweeted out pre-approved climate talking points.
Bud Brigham, the executive chairman of Brigham Minerals, testified Thursday before the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs that a Wall Street bank allegedly threatened to deny him a loan unless he tweeted out specific political messages.
Republican Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes led the hearing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, an approach to investing that scores companies based on their commitment to certain environmental and social causes.
Brigham testified that, during a capital raise with Credit Suisse, with whom he claims to have raised over $1 billion with over 15 years, the bank instructed him put out overtly political statements on ESG. Brigham explained that an unidentified bank almost immediately approved him for a loan, while Credit Suisse failed to respond to his loan application.
When he reached out to ask why, Brigham claims a representative at Credit Suisse said the bank might not be able to partner with Brigham, allegedly telling him that “climate change is real and it’s not debatable.”
Brigham claims he responded that science is ever-evolving, prompting the representative to offer an opportunity to strike a deal — but only if Brigham parroted the bank’s climate agenda.
“How about if I can get you some bullets to tweet? If you can tweet this out, it think there’s a good chance we can do this deal,” the representative allegedly said.
Brigham said he then received an email with the bullet points.
Brigham also testified that Chinese companies that use slave labor to produce solar panels are given higher ESG ratings that Brigham Minerals solely because his company works in the oil and gas industry.
Hughes said in a statement to the Daily Caller that “Wall Street firms and big banks are politicizing our economy.”
“Bud Brigham’s testimony gives us a glimpse into how they strong-arm American entrepreneurs. They kill jobs and raise the cost of living for every American,” Hughes continued. “This will not stand in Texas.”
In August, Texas placed restrictions on several firms, including Credit Suisse, declaring that the firms’ opposition to fossil fuels could “undermine” the state economy. Credit Suisse and others are banned from entering into most contracts with state and local entities after Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar said his office determined that the companies had boycotted the oil industry.