FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHARLESTON –Today, West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore received the Consumers’ Research Consumers’ Champion Award for his role defending West Virginia consumers against the ESG movement and protecting West Virginians’ hard-earned money.
Treasurer Moore continues to be a leader in the fight against the progressive ESG agenda. During his tenure, Treasurer Moore has taken action against investment management firm BlackRock Inc. by divesting West Virginia’s state operating funds from them, he has championed state legislation to allow West Virginia to limit engagement with ESG-aligned financial institutions, and he has worked with fellow-elected officials to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its misguided ESG policies.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award from Will Hild and Consumers’ Research, who have done tremendous work in raising awareness of the dangers of these radical ESG policies,” Treasurer Moore said. “Since taking office, I have made it my mission to fight back against the globalist woke elites who are using ESG policies to try to force their extreme agenda on our economy and way of life. These policies are hurting the West Virginia economy and go against the values of our people. We will not pay for our own destruction, and that’s why we will no longer support businesses whose corporate policies directly threaten the interests and livelihoods of West Virginians and freedom-loving people across America. I’m proud to stand with Will Hild and Consumers’ Research – and all my colleagues who have joined our cause – to fight back for our economic freedom.”
State Treasurer Moore’s efforts to protect West Virginians is applauded by Consumers’ Research as part of their continuing campaign to call out BlackRock and other corporations for prioritizing partisan politics over what is best for the consumer.
“I am thrilled to give the Consumers’ Champion Award to Treasurer Moore,” said Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research. “Because of his leadership, West Virginians are protected from financial institutions looking to put politics ahead of their duties. For too long, woke firms such as BlackRock have been allowed to dictate policy and attempt to force behaviors on consumers to fit their progressive narrative. Now, we are seeing states fight back against these progressive policies that hurt Americans, and it is because we have elected officials like Treasurer Moore leading the charge.”
Divestments from BlackRock
On January 17th, 2022, Treasurer Moore announced the Board of Treasury Investments, which manages the state’s roughly $8 billion operating funds, would no longer use a BlackRock Inc. investment fund as part of its banking transactions. The decision was based on reports that BlackRock was urging companies to impose “net zero” investment strategies designed to damage the fossil fuel industry while increasing investments in Chinese Companies that subverted national interests.
Treasurer Moore also pointed to the significant financial risks associated with firms that invest heavily in China due to that country’s lack of free market protections, intellectual property rights, and outright government interference in markets and business activities. West Virginia was among a myriad of Republican-governed states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, Missouri, and Arkansas, who announced they would divest funds from BlackRock totaling more than $1 billion.
Background on WV Senate Bill 2262
State Treasurer Moore Championed WV Senate Bill 2262, which allows the Treasurer’s Office to create a “Restricted Financial Institution List” consisting of banks that limit capital access to the fossil fuel industry. Once passed, Treasurer Moore determined that BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo & Co. were engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies, and, according to a new state law, were no longer eligible to enter into state banking contracts with his Office.
State Treasurer Moore’s move to limit engagement with ESG-aligned financial institutions is especially crucial in West Virginia, where coal and other fossil fuel severance taxes represent the third-largest revenue source for the state’s General Revenue Budget. During the most recent fiscal year, the nearly $769 million in severance taxes paid by coal, oil. and natural gas companies accounted for 13 percent of the $5.89 billion in General Revenue funds collected by the state – and that does not include income and other taxes also collected from the employment and economic activity these fossil fuel industries generate.
Involvement in National Coalition to Oppose Raskin Appointment to Federal Reserve
Treasurer Moore joined a coalition of 24 Treasurers, Auditors, and Financial Officers from 21 states to help stop the appointment of Sarah Bloom Raskin to the US Federal Reserve. Raskin is a vocal proponent of using ESG metrics to cut off capital from the Oil and Gas industry. Her appointment would have moved the Federal Reserve toward pushing pro-ESG regulations at the central bank.
Treasurer Moore identified Raskin’s nomination as yet another ploy by President Biden to attempt to use the Federal Reserve to advance an agenda that Congress has repeatedly rejected. Raskin, a Duke University law professor, was outspoken in advocacy for the Federal Reserve and other financial agencies to use their regulatory powers to stifle the flow of capital to the coal, oil, and natural gas industries and funnel it toward less reliable energy technologies.
About Consumers’ Research
Founded in 1929, Consumers’ Research is an independent educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its near-century old-mission is to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers and to promote the freedom to act on that knowledge and understanding. Consumers’ Research frequently comments on the effects that laws, regulations, and government programs have on consumers. For more information visit: http://consumersresearch.org.
# # #