Alex Kane in Jewish Currents:
IN LATE 2019, Jason Isaac, an energy policy staffer at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, began hearing of a new threat to fossil fuel companies. Pressure from climate activists had led some banks, pension funds, and universities to announce that they were divesting from oil, gas, and coal. As a result, executives of companies in Texas told Isaac that they were struggling to access capital as some investors backed away from their sector out of what Isaac—whose think tank program advocates for the continued use of fossil fuels and receives some of its funding from energy companies—called a desire to “appease a woke ideological political base.”
But Isaac had an idea. In late 2016, as a Republican member of the Texas state legislature, he co-authored legislation that banned the state from doing business with companies or individual contractors who withheld their investments or services from the State of Israel. The legislation, later signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, is meant to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, which calls for boycotts of Israeli products, divestment from corporations that do business in Israel, and sanctions on the state.
Isaac realized he could apply a similar logic to those who might seek to hobble the energy industry.