Republican states plan all-out attack on waking banks: ‘We won’t do business with you’

Republican state officials are devising a plan to punish awakened banks who advance fossil fuel policies and adhere to so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

West Virginia announced last week that it would bar five major financial institutions, including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, from entering into banking contracts with the state treasurer’s office or any state agency. Each of the five corporations had committed to policies limiting business engagement. fossil fuel industry which paid a whopping $769 million in taxes to the state government of West Virginia.

“We’re not going to pay for our destruction, we’re not going to subsidize that,” West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore told Fox Business during an interview. “They have weaponized our tax dollars against the same people and industry that initially generated them. That’s why we are pushing back against this ESG movement.”

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He noted that the US Bancorp supported its prohibition of fossil fuel lending and, as a result, was kept off the state’s banned list of financial institutions.

Moore’s action, the first of its kind to the major banks’ ESG push, is likely to be the first of several similar actions across the country. According to a Fox Business analysis, at least 15 Republican-led states, which collectively manage billions of dollars in public funds, have proposed laws or policies that would equalize fossil fuel banks over the past year. will be severely punished.

“We have, in fact, seen the weaponization of capital by some of the largest banks and fund managers in the world,” Derek Krefels, CEO of the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF), told Fox Business. “If you want to bring about social change in this country, we have a democratic process that you must use to accomplish that.”

The SFOF assembles a “NATO-like coalition” of state treasurers and financial officials who are Committed to forward free market policies, Krefels added. The group and its members have focused particularly on ESG issues in recent months, with the federal government, banks and S&P Global, a credit rating agency that assigns ESG scores.

A dozen state financial officials contacted by Fox Business applauded the West Virginia banks’ ban and confirmed that they were preparing their response to “wake up banks.”

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A spokesman for Texas Comptroller Glenn Hager said in an email, “The agency is continuing to work through information we have received from companies we have contacted for more information as well as for Texas listings.” Our process to identify suitable candidates has been finalised.”

Hager is making a list similar to that of West Virginia, according to a bill passed by the Texas legislature last year. As part of the effort, Hager sent letters to 19 financial institutions in March seeking clarification on their fossil fuel investment policies.

Drilling rig seen in Douglas, Wyoming

They are seen off Highway 59 outside of the drilling rig Douglas, Wyoming. (Leah Millis/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP, file)

In addition to Texas, state financial officials in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas and North Dakota said they would take action or crack down on banks boycotting energy companies. Will consider Kentucky and Oklahoma, like Texas, are compiling lists as required by recently passed state laws.

“These industries are economically integral to Kentucky,” a spokesperson for Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball told Fox Business. “They provide jobs for Kentuckians, fuel transportation and supply chains, and keep the lights on. We want to support these signature industries.”

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“We hope we’ve sent the message that if you don’t do business with Kentucky, we won’t do business with you,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State Treasurer Randy McDaniel’s office is researching best practices from states with similar laws before moving forward, a spokesman said. The Oklahoma legislature passed the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act requiring McDaniel to create and maintain a list of financial companies that boycott energy companies, but the law would not take effect until November.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “For years, the cult of ESG economic activists has been working overtime to promote unwanted, awakened ideology in the American economic system because they know that their social policies are the test of snuff from voters. Won’t pass.” on 27th July. “This is anti-American, anti-independence, a deliberate attempt to destroy our democracy and is not in the best interests of Florida businesses, retirees or investors.”

Larry Fink BlackRock

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink speaks during the World Economic Forum on January 21, 2020 in Davos, Switzerland. (Simon Dawson / Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis told Fox Business that he has served notices to banks that he opposes the ESG standards. He said his office was taking related measures which would be announced “in due course”.

“I represent citizens of the Palmetto State, not people from outside the state or international activists and institutions,” Loftis said. “I will not allow these rich and powerful elites to suppress the voices of our citizens and the decisions of their elected representatives.”

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee said her office would determine future partnerships based on whether the companies “stand up to American values,” not the ESG rating system. he accused higher price on pump And widespread inflation on the “ESG agenda” of the Biden administration.

Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroeder said he would work with the state’s legislature to ensure that those whose policies are harmful to Louisiana are “depleted by business opportunities in our state.”

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A spokeswoman for Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth told Fox, “Treasurer Ellsworth believes that Idaho’s fiduciary duty is to the shareholder and not to the unelected stakeholders, which puts pressure on financial institutions to are an adverse company or state through the use of the ESG criteria, which they consider to be an adverse company or state.” Business

“Idaho is determined to protect all of our industries, including our diverse natural resource companies,” the spokesperson continued.

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