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Could Alberta follow Texas’ plan to target ESG funds that ‘boycott energy’?

Lawmakers in Texas are taking aim at green investment with a plan to force the state's multibillion-dollar pensions to divest from financial institutions and funds that “boycott energy.” Could this idea gain traction in Alberta, as the home of Canada’s oil and gas industry heads for a provincial election in the spring?

Kevin Krausert is CEO and co-founder of Avatar Innovations, a Calgary-based venture capital firm and startup accelerator that pairs entrepreneurs with the biggest companies in Canada’s energy patch. He’s not a fan of the strategy, but doesn’t rule out a candidate for premier using divestment as a talking point.

“I guess we should be prepared for it,” Krausert told Yahoo Finance Canada’s Editor’s Edition. “I’m cautiously optimistic that the majority of Albertans will be able to see through any cheap political points that an election sometimes brings out.”

Got a question for Kevin Krausert? Email Jeff.Lagerquist@yahoofinance.com and let him know what interests you in the world of clean energy and technology.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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Video Transcript

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JEFF LAGERQUIST: It occurs to me that your home province of Alberta is heading for an election in spring, I believe. Do you expect maybe some of the candidates would roll out this idea. I imagine that it would gain some traction with a certain amount of people who are near and dear to the fossil fuel industry.

KEVIN KRAUSERT: God, I hope not. [LAUGHS] But I guess we should be prepared for it. What I would say is, if Texas as the second largest economy in the United States is having trouble doing this, little Alberta is going to have a much, much harder time doing this. And while there are certainly going to be tricks in the hat of a variety of candidates to do what they can to win the election, the conversations that I will be having with them, and that I would encourage others to, is that Alberta has a very unique chance to lead in this new world of energy that we're in.

Of delivering energy security and investing in the technologies that can rationally reduce emissions. And this is how we can win this not just as a province, but as a country. And so, I'm cautiously optimistic that the majority of Albertans will be able to see through any cheap political points that an election sometimes brings up.

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