Mr. Anti-ESG: Chevron Activist Urges Company To Slow Energy Transition Spending, Return More Cash To Shareholders´┐╝

By Tyler Durden

There’s at least one “activist” investor that hasn’t gone full “woke ESG” yet: Vivek Ramaswamy.

Ramaswamy, who has authored a book called “Woke, Inc.” wherein he argues that business and politics should remain sequestered from one another, is now out publicly urging Chevron to “pump more fossil fuels” over the next decade, according to the Wall Street Journal

While the rest of the woke world struggles with an energy crisis that is, in part, a mess of their own making, Ramaswamy wrote a letter this week to Chevron CEO Mike Wirth and the company’s board of directors, urging them to slow spending on their energy transition and environmental plans. 

Ramaswamy claimed in his letter he wanted to “liberate [the company] from constraints imposed on Chevron by its ESG-promoting ‘shareholders.’ ”

He also said he wanted to engage with the company before next year’s proxy season. As the Journal writes, “Ramaswamy invested in Chevron through his Strive Asset Management’s ETF nearly a month ago.”

His stance stands in stark contrast to that of Engine No. 1, an activist who got involved with Exxon last year and urged the company to accelerate its energy transition efforts. As the Journal writes:

Engine No. 1’s campaign at Exxon last year won support from the largest asset managers, put new directors on the company’s board and forced the company to move more quickly to reduce its environmental impact. Chevron prepared for a similar campaign, then accelerated its energy-transition strategy, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

 

Ramaswamy instead is pushing for limiting investments and returning more cash to shareholders. He says that he thinks the company is on the doorstep of taking “bold action”, especially after CEO Wirth stood down aggressive claims from President Biden that oil companies weren’t producing enough supply and were 

He also argues that the company could see a more aggressive valuation if it helps to solve some of the supply shortages in the sector over the next year. His letter states:

We respectfully suggest that Chevron would better advance its business interests by standing proudly behind the benefits that fossil fuels deliver to society rather than to voice its support for the Paris Agreement or for a carbon tax. We encourage you not to apologize for producing fossil fuels, and instead to better educate your climate-concerned stakeholders on realities such as the fact that the climate disaster-related death rate today is 98% lower than it was just a century ago – largely due to innovation supported by greater utilization of fossil fuels produced by companies like Chevron.

Read the full article here.