West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore barred five banks last week from entering into state banking contracts due to policies they had adopted against financing fossil fuel projects. U.S. Bank — which was originally considered for inclusion on the Restricted Financial Institution List — has now reversed its policy, Moore told Breitbart News on Wednesday.
“The most important point of Restricted Financial Institutions List was having US Bank remove their prohibition on lending to fossil fuel companies, which led to them not being listed. I applaud US Bank in their decision and we all should. Categorical denials in lending are a distortion in the marketplace.”
Moore predicted that West Virginia and other states will continue to use state banking contracts as leverage to nudge financial institutions away from anti-energy lending policies.
“Texas will release their list in the near future, which will be followed by Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Tennessee,” he stated. “This is how we win. This is how we defeat ESG and bring the financial sector back to neutral and away from using corrosive capitalism to further the liberal agenda.”
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards are used by investors and financial institutions to guide capital allocation toward non-financial ends. While some ESG proponents have attempted to make a business case for these standards, critics argue that they exist to bias corporate governance politically, usually in favor of left-wing causes.
According to a memorandum from the State Treasurer’s Office, the banks that did make it onto the Restricted Financial Institutions List are BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo & Co.
A press release concerning BlackRock’s inclusion on the list noted that environmental concerns have not dissuaded the company from funneling billions of dollars into China:
The decision was based on recent reports that BlackRock has urged companies to embrace “net zero” investment strategies that would harm the coal, oil and natural gas industries, while increasing investments in Chinese companies that subvert national interests and damage West Virginia’s manufacturing base and job market.
“The way BlackRock and other large banks behave in relation to China exposes the true hypocrisy of the ESG movement. These firms are cutting off capital to U.S. energy producers in the name of protecting the planet while at the same time pouring billions of dollars of investment into China, which is currently building 55 new coal-fired power plants and leading the world in pollution,” Moore told Breitbart News.
“These firms are also trying to inject themselves into social issues in conservative states, while turning a blind eye to China’s litany of human rights atrocities, including their blatant genocide of the Muslim Uyghur population,” Moore added. “This double-standard demonstrates these globalist elites are willing to weaken the United States while profiting off investments in a Communist regime in China, and it’s why states like West Virginia need to fight back to protect our values, economy and American way of life.”