West Virginia Republican State Treasurer Riley Moore announced Monday that the state would no longer be using BlackRock Inc. for banking transactions due to the company’s involvement in China and its policies related to coal and natural gas.
“As the state’s chief financial officer and chairman of the Board of Treasury Investments, I have a duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are managed in a responsible, financially sound fashion which reflects the best interests of our state and country, and I believe doing business with BlackRock runs contrary to that duty,” Moore said.
He added that companies should invest in America rather than China, and that West Virginia would work with businesses that do not undercut the state’s interests. The Board of Treasury Investments will no longer work with BlackRock.
“Any company that thinks Communist China is a better investment than West Virginia energy or American capitalism clearly has a bad strategy,” Moore said. “We will continue to give our state’s business to people who aren’t simultaneously trying to destroy our economy.”
Moore cited BlackRock’s recent commitment to “net zero” investing as one of the major reasons why he decided to cut ties with the massive multinational company. Moore said that the state should not do business with companies that would hurt West Virginians.
The Republican treasurer was also worried about BlackRock’s ties to China and “increasing” investment in the communist country. He pointed to China’s dubious “interference” with the market and intellectual property issues.
Back in September, BlackRock made headlines for putting forward about $1 billion in its Chinese mutual fund, the first company to have a “wholly owned Chinese mutual fund business” according to the Financial Times.
“The Chinese government’s blatant interference and controls over businesses and markets creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty and risk for anyone attempting to invest there,” Moore said.
He said that it didn’t make sense for BlackRock to be so concerned with cracking down on emissions from “reliable energy sources” in the United States while seemingly not being concerned with China’s mistreatment of the Uyghur people and other human rights violations.
“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has been outspoken in pressuring corporate leaders to commit to investment goals that will undermine reliable energy sources like coal, natural gas and oil under the guise of helping the planet, but at the same time he’s pouring billions in new capital into China, turning a blind eye to abhorrent human rights violations, genocide and that country’s role in creating the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Moore noted.
Last year, Moore led a coalition of states to fight back against bank boycotts of the coal and gas industry. He was joined by at least 16 other state financial officers, including the treasurers of Arizona, Arkansas, and Alabama.
He sent a letter to American banking institutions, where he and the state financial officers announced that they would “be taking collective action in response to the ongoing and growing economic boycott of traditional energy production industries by U.S. financial institutions.”
The letter took aim at “woke capitalists and globalist actors” whom he said hurt America’s energy independence.