BlackRock is defending its stance on environmental, social and governance-related initiatives, which were criticized by several state attorneys general last month, according to news reports.

In a letter dated August 4, a total of 19 Republican state attorneys general accused the asset manager of violating state laws, using client funds to “circumvent” the best possible return on investment, and attempting to “intentionally restrain and harm the competitiveness of the energy markets,” according to FA-IQ sister publication FundFire.

“Your letter makes several inaccurate statements about BlackRock’s motive for participating in various ESG-related initiatives,” wrote Dalia Blass, the firm’s senior managing director and head of external affairs, in a 10-page response letter shared Wednesday with media outlets. “In managing our clients’ assets, BlackRock seeks to realize the best long-term financial results consistent with each client’s investment guidelines. Our participation in these initiatives is entirely consistent with our fiduciary obligations.”

Blass also pushed back on the attorneys general’s claims that its ESG approach raised antitrust concerns, writing that the firm doesn’t “coordinate our votes or investment decisions with external groups or organizations,” according to the publication.

Blass also countered the claim that Blackrock “dictated” emissions targets to companies or the lobbying they should engage in, according to FundFire.

“That is the role of the company’s management team and the board of directors — it is not the responsibility of minority investors such as BlackRock,” she wrote, according to the publication.

BlackRock took a different position when it was one of several firms targeted for their ESG stance in Texas.

Late last month, Texas comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that the state had added 10 firms, including BlackRock, to a blacklist of financial companies barred from overseeing state pension funds because of their “boycott” of energy companies.

In response, BlackRock and other firms on the list boasted of their oil and energy investments.

"We have never turned our back on Texas oil and gas companies," BlackRock's U.S. business head, Mark McCombe, told the Financial Times.