(FreedomBeacon.com)- State treasurers and legislatures are taking action against woke environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, and big banks are trying to contain the damage while using their substantial financial resources to oppose the fossil fuel industry in the name of combating climate change.
Large financial institutions like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley are operating what some policy experts, GOP lawmakers, and state treasurers say is an effective boycott of the fossil fuel industry by taking environmental concerns into account when making investment decisions.
Republican state treasurers have become aware of this practice and are protesting it in large numbers. Riley Moore, the state treasurer of West Virginia, prohibited five significant financial institutions from conducting business in the state in July.
The West Virginia State Treasurer is permitted to create and maintain a list of financial institutions participating in a “boycott of energy businesses,” according to West Virginia Code 12 1C 1, et seq., Moore stated at the time.
According to Moore’s announcement in January, CEO Larry Fink weakened the fossil fuel sector “under the pretext of saving the earth,” and as a result, West Virginia’s Board of Treasury Investments will no longer use BlackRock investment funds in its banking transactions.
Moore said that this is how we will win in the fight against ESG: pushing back and standing up and fighting like this.
The actions of West Virginia were somewhat successful. Moore asserts that U.S. Bank once had rules that penalized the fossil fuel business; however, the bank proved to the state that they had done away with those practices and were not included on the list of prohibited financial institutions.
Although all of the firms sent Moore letters indicating they did not boycott the fossil fuel industry—a claim Moore says he does not believe it is sincere—BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley did not alter their practices.
The Financial Times reports that JPMorgan has invested $42.6 billion in “credit exposure” for fossil fuel corporations. In August, Texas’ attorney general demanded an explanation from BlackRock about its use of state pension funds for environmental causes. BlackRock supported fewer shareholder motions related to the environment this year than last, claiming the resolutions were excessively prescriptive. BlackRock stressed its investment in the fossil fuel sector in a letter to Texas officials and regional trade associations. The state treasurer of Arkansas withdrew approximately $125 million from BlackRock-managed funds in March.