West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced he is leading a coalition of 15 State Treasurers against the Biden administration’s attempts to pressure banks and other large financial institutions into divesting from coal, oil and natural gas companies.
The Biden plan, if enacted, would financially cripple these industries and damage the livelihoods of thousands of West Virginians.
“The American economy is built upon free markets and the free flow of capital,” Treasurer Moore said. “This administration’s attempts to go around the law and bully banks into pulling financing from fossil fuel companies is downright anti-capitalist and un-American. This is the kind of heavy-handed social pressure in the service of central planning we have come to expect from Communist China, not the freest country in the world.”
The Treasurers are speaking out following media reports that Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has privately pressured banks to cut off lending for fossil fuel industries.
The group has sent a letter to Kerry outlining their opposition to these efforts and suggesting steps they might take to discourage financial institutions from participating in the Kerry-backed scheme.
“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,” the Treasurers wrote. “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 Treasurers observed that cutting off lending to these industries, which are engaged in perfectly legal activities, would do substantial harm to their states’ economies, resulting in significant job losses.
“The coal, oil, and natural gas industries in our states are vital to our nation’s economy,” they wrote. “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 Treasurers said they will closely monitor which financial institutions bow to Administration pressure. Moreover, the Treasurers further pledged to respond in the best interests of their constituents.
“As the chief financial officers of our respective states, we entrust banks and financial institutions with billions of our taxpayers’ dollars,” they wrote. “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.”
“We just saw in Georgia what happens when a liberal mob can’t get its policies passed through legal means, so they resort to the bullying tactics of ‘woke capitalism’ to get their way,” Treasurer Moore said. “As Treasurers, we are sounding the alarm to say if these people try to push their radical agenda in a way that harms our states, we will act to protect our economies and our people from the harmful effects of the woke mob.”
Treasurer Moore was joined on the letter by Alabama Treasurer John McMillan, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan, Idaho Treasurer Julie A. Ellsworth, Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball, Mississippi Treasurer David McRae, Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Nebraska Treasurer John Murante, North Dakota Treasurer Thomas Beadle, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr., and South Dakota Treasurer Josh Haeder.
The Treasurers’ letter can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3bSAQPF.