CHARLESTON – West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore and 14 treasurers across the country threaten to withdraw assets from banks succumbing to pressure from President Joe Biden and Climate Tsar John Kerry to invest in fuels fossils.
Moore sent a letter to Kerry, Biden’s special presidential climate envoy, signed by the 15-member coalition on Tuesday, raising concerns about White House pressure on banking and financial institutions to stop lend to the fossil fuel industry.
Moore accused Kerry of pushing for divestment that will force banks to discriminate against coal, oil and natural gas companies.
“As a collective, we strongly oppose the economic policies of command and control that attempt to bend the free market to the political will of government officials,” Moore wrote. “It is simply contrary to our nation’s position as a democracy and capitalist economy for the executive branch to intimidate corporations into restricting legal activities.”
The letter cites a Politico article that revealed that Kerry, a former US Senator, Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State to President Barack Obama, was pressuring US banks to focus more on mitigating the crisis. climate change. This included encouraging banks to create a zero rate banking alliance in conjunction with President Biden’s Earth Day goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to more than 50% of 2005 levels. ‘by 2030.
Kerry and White House Biden are also reportedly lobbying other banks to disclose their fossil fuel-related lending and investing activities.
“The top-down tactic of the Biden administration of picking economic winners and losers deprives the very determined group in our society, the people, of essential choices and agency,” Moore wrote. “We refuse to allow the federal government to choose our critical industries as losers, purely on the basis of President Biden’s radical political preferences and ideologies.”
Moore and the coalition of state treasurers have urged banking institutions not to succumb to pressure from Kerry and the White House to disengage from coal, oil and natural gas. Moore said banks that choose to divest under pressure could see state treasurers withdrawing their holdings from those same banks.
“We intend to make banks and financial institutions aware of our position, as we urge them not to bow to pressure from the Biden administration to refuse to lend or invest in coal companies, oil and natural gas’, Moore wrote. “As CFOs of our respective states, we entrust billions of taxpayer dollars to banks and financial institutions. It makes perfect sense that we give significant weight to the fact that an institution has engaged in tactics that would harm the people whose money it manages before entering into or extending a contract. “
Between West Virginia and the 15-state coalition, they manage more than $ 600 billion in assets, including pensions and other state accounts.
The coalition includes Alabama Treasurer John McMillan, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan, Idaho Treasurer Julie A. Ellsworth, Kentucky Allison Ball Treasurer, Treasurer of Mississippi David McRae, Treasurer of Missouri Scott Fitzpatrick, Treasurer of Nebraska John Murante, Treasurer of North Dakota Thomas Beadle, Treasurer of Ohio Robert Sprague, Treasurer of Oklahoma Randy McDaniel, Treasurer of Pennsylvania Stacy Garrity , South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr. and South Dakota Treasurer Josh Haeder.
McMillan is the only Democrat in the group.
Steven Allen Adams can be reached at [email protected]