You may have read last week about the efforts of West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore in battling the unfair targetting of his state’s coal companies by ESG funds. Moore created a Restricted Financial Institutions list to stop rewarding firms that target West Virginia’s industries by giving them the state’s investment business.
That’s not Moore’s only effort to clean up the unfair practices of the politicized financial industry. Moore has also spearheaded an effort against policies that would decrease financing for the coal, oil, and natural gas industries. Given the high prices of oil and other fuels, less investment is the last thing America needs right now. Insufficient investment in oil and gas will lead to shortages and higher prices. The WV Metro News reports on Moore’s effort, which has been joined by over a dozen other states, writing:
Moore and 15 other officials sent a letter Monday to leaders of the U.S. banking industry, criticizing potential policies that would decrease financing for the coal, oil and natural gas industries.
According to the State Treasurer’s Office, the 16-state coalition represents more than $600 billion in public assets. The officials are reviewing financial institutions “engaged in boycotts of America’s traditional energy industries when awarding state banking contracts.”
“What I’d like to see the banks do is very simple,” Moore said on Tuesday’s “MetroNews Talkline.”
“Do what they typically do, which is assess risks and capital and decide whether they want to make a loan based on that or finance an operation based on that rather than pre-emptively denying even a conversation with coal gas or oil in this country.”
Moore argued there is a conflict of interest in having banks make these decisions while managing accounts of public agencies.
“At the end of the day, I don’t want any special treatment for the fossil fuel industry. We’re asking for no favors at all, not like renewable energy that gets all these free tax credits thrown at it. We don’t need any of that,” he said. “All we want is an even playing field for the fossil fuel industries here in the state of West Virginia and represented throughout the country that is on this letter with me in this coalition that I’m proud to lead.”
Moore said the letter is a warning against “unfairly boycotting” the fossil fuel industry. He added changes to rules and contracts may happen if financial institutions change their investments.
Moore also called out John Kerry and the Biden administration for their efforts to pressure banks to cut off funding to fossil fuel producers. The letter, address to Kerry, read:
We are writing today to express our deep concern with recent reports that you, and other members of the Biden Administration, are privately pressuring U.S. banks and financial institutions to refuse to lend to or invest in coal, oil, and natural gas companies, as part of a misguided strategy to eliminate the fossil fuel industry in our country.1 As members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee have noted,2 these efforts to secure extralegal commitments from financial institutions will discriminate against law-abiding U.S. energy companies and their employees, impede economic growth, and drive up consumer costs.
As a collective, we strongly oppose command-and-control economic policies that attempt to bend the free market to the political will of government officials. It is simply antithetical to our nation’s position as a democracy and a capitalist economy for the Executive Branch to bully corporations into curtailing legal activities. The Biden Administration’s top-down tactics of picking economic winners and losers deprives the real determinate group in our society – the people – of essential choice and agency. We refuse to allow the federal government to pick our critical industries as losers, based purely on President Biden’s own radical political preferences and ideologies. At the outset of his administration, President Biden promised to be a president for all Americans. The pressure his Administration isimposing on American financial institutions runs directly counter to that promise, as it will certainly harm the most economically depressed areas in our states and the most vulnerable of our people.
The coal, oil, and natural gas industries in our states are vital to our nation’s economy. These industries provide jobs, health insurance, critical tax revenue, and quality of life to families across our country. As the Obama Administration’s War on Coal demonstrated, reckless attacks on the fossil fuel industry ultimately cut off paychecks for workers and take food off the table for hard-working middle-class families – the very people the Biden Administration claims to champion.
Therefore, we intend to put banks and financial institutions on notice of our position, as we urge them not to give in to pressure from the Biden Administration to refuse to lend to or invest in coal, oil, and natural gas companies. As the chief financial officers of our respective states, we entrust banks and financial institutions with billions of our taxpayers’ dollars. It is only logical that we will give significant weight to the fact that an institution engaged in tactics that will harm the people whose money they are handling before entering into or extending any contract.
For the above stated reasons, we strongly oppose the Biden Administration’s efforts to cut off financing for law-abiding industries that are essential to the economy and our citizens’ way of life. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
The letter was signed by the treasurers of fourteen other states. Those states included
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
It would be nice to see Texas take a more active role, with its massive amount of financial weight. Hopefully, it will join Moore’s more recent fight against the investment firms’ discriminatory ESG policies targetting fossil fuels.
Action Line: You want to live in a state where elected officials are fighting for you, not for the politicized interests of Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer. Until then, click here to sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and we’ll weather this storm together.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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