WV State Treasurer Bans Environmentalist Banks, Blasts ‘Prohibitive’ ‘Discriminatory’ ESG

April 10th, 2024 3:25 PM

West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore, a Republican, took a victory lap on Fox Business after his state struck back at pro-ESG banks. 

During the April 9 edition of Fox Business’ The Big Money Show, Moore made clear that West Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy towards radical pro-ESG firms that threaten the livelihoods of his constituents. Furthermore, Moore ripped the “prohibitive and discriminatory language” of these banks targeting “legal industries like coal, gas and oil.” When asked about his decision to boycott the banks boycotting fossil fuels, Moore explained that institutions seeking to bankrupt the fossil fuel industry shouldn’t get to profit off West Virginians. 

“We found these banks to be boycotting the fossil fuel industry,” Moore said. “And really what this is a conflict of interest. Our state here in West Virginia, we love fossil fuels, that’s what we do here.”

The State Treasurer went on to make clear that these banks not only threatened the livelihoods of his constituents but also the state government’s ability to serve them, saying: “We generate nearly a billion dollars in what’s called severance taxes from those fossil fuels. And we’ve got a $4.7 billion budget. That is a large chunk of that, so we're trying to alleviate ourselves of that conflict of interest where they're trying to diminish those funds through ESG and we’re trying to protect them.”

On April 8, Moore announced that Citigroup, TD Bank, The Northern Trust Company and HSBC Holdings would join BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo as firms “ineligible to provide banking services to the State.” 

Moore cited the Restricted Financial Institution List law, authorizing him to take this action against firms that have openly declared their intent to discriminate against fossil fuels. “We cannot allow institutions that seek to destroy our state’s critical energy industries and the economic activity they generate to also profit from handling the very taxpayer dollars they seek to diminish,” Moore said in a press statement, announcing the boycott.

Later in the Fox Business interview, Moore pointed out the useless nature of the anti-coal and anti-energy policies of pro-ESG lenders, stating that the world burned more coal in 2023 than any prior year. He pointed to coal plant expansion in some of the world’s most populous countries: India, China and Indonesia. 

When asked about the Biden administration’s humiliating rollout of electric vehicle chargers, Moore responded by calling it an example of “special favors” stuffed into what he called Biden’s “Inflation Production Act.” 

Moore also pointed out the absurdity of simultaneously pushing for electric vehicles and demonizing coal:

“By the way when they're trying to transition us away from these fossil fuel industries, what is going to charge the cars? It's coal. Coal is going to charge the cars. You know, this is why this whole thing is just nonsense. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. The United States should be an energy superpower. We should be an energy superpower and a net exporter of our fossil fuels to be able to leverage our position here in the globe, instead of this self-inflicted wound that we're doing. I mean, their policy is literally ‘Make China Great Again.”

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