A coalition of 15 Republican State Treasurers, Auditors, and Comptrollers of states representing over $600 billion in public assets – have recently said their states could potentially reduce future business with banks that cut off financing for oil, gas, and coal, West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore says.
The coalition “will begin considering whether financial institutions are engaged in boycotts of America’s traditional energy industries when awarding state banking contracts,” Moore said, announcing that the state treasurers had sent an open letter to the banking industry.
In the letter, the state officials say, “We are writing to notify you that we will be taking collective action in response to the ongoing and growing economic boycott of traditional energy production industries by U.S. financial institutions.”
“We cannot allow companies that have a stated goal of harming key industries or the economies of our states to then turn around and try to profit from our states’ finances,” Moore said in a statement.
“Woke capitalists and globalist actors have been using the guise of climate change to press for anti-American reforms that reduce our country’s competitiveness against hostile nations like Russia and China,” Moore added.
“While we understand that you may be under tremendous undue pressure from the Biden Administration, we are simply asking financial institutions to award financing based on an unbiased, non-political basis,” the officials say in their letter to the banking industry.
The Republican officials overseeing state finances are pushing back against the growing ESG trend in the banking industry to shun funding for the fossil fuel industry.
Banks worldwide and in the United States have announced in recent years restrictions to their financing not only for coal projects but also for some forms of oil and gas extraction amid heightened investor pressure to shun fossil fuels. In the United States, Goldman Sachs said in December 2019 that it would decline to finance new Arctic oil exploration and production and new thermal coal mine development or strip mining. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have also said they will stop financing new oil and gas projects in the Arctic.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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