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West Virginia Blocks Wall Street Titans Pushing ESG Agenda

REUTERS/Chris Keane

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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West Virginia blocked five major Wall Street banks Thursday from doing business with the state for pushing a green agenda, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Forty-five days after West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore warned U.S. Bancorp, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and BlackRock that “boycotting” fossil fuels would find them banned from accessing state business, five of the six big banks were publically blocked, reported The New York Times.

Moore said that banning banks from investing West Virginia’s money aligns with the state’s priorities as the U.S.’s second-largest coal producer, according to a statement Moore posted on Twitter. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: The Massive Woke Company Selling Out Americans To China)

“As Treasurer, I have a duty to act in the best interests of the State’s Treasury and our people when choosing financial services for West Virginia. Any institution with policies aimed at weakening our energy industries, tax base and job market has a clear conflict of interest in handling taxpayer dollars,” Moore said.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and BlackRock support the climate change agenda, ESG, that pushes to integrate climate change policies that dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

The massive financial institution BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink told clients in 2020 that the firm supports “the acceleration of the global energy transition” out of the coal industry because of its “environmental impacts.”

Goldman Sachs’ website said the company would stop investing in new coal industry products because it is “one of the largest sources of air pollutants, including greenhouse gas emissions, and has other significant environmental, health and safety impact on local communities.”

JP Morgan said in April 2022 that the firm’s 2021 ESG report highlighted its “efforts to help address critical global challenges like climate change” by becoming “the first large U.S. financial institution to set Paris-aligned 2030 emission intensity reduction targets in oil & gas, electric power and auto manufacturing sectors.”

U.S. Bancorp was left off West Virginia’s Restricted Financial Institutions list after it stopped using ESG policies that attack the fossil fuel industry, including coal-fired power, Moore said in the statement.

Republicans say it is crucial to prevent corporations from using their financial power to back away from fossil fuels under the guise of pushing ESG.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Tucker Carlson in an interview Wednesday that Florida plans to input a “flat ban” against corporations using ESG to discriminate against other businesses or industries that don’t support the agenda.

“It’s basically a way for [ESG supporting companies] to do politics. So we’re going to make sure that that fiduciary duty is defined very clearly and that they stick to that,” DeSantis told Carlson. “We also want to provide protection for people in the financial marketplace from being discriminated against based on ideology.”

DeSantis warned that allowing these corporations to push the ESG agenda would be a “disaster” for several industries, including fossil fuels and agriculture.

“It takes power away from the American people and lodges it into these international corporate titans,” DeSantis said on Fox News. “And that’s not, I think, what our Founding Fathers ever intended.”