A coalition of 15 states announced a commitment to scrutinize future business with banks that divest from the fossil fuel industry.
The coalition of top state financial officers, formed by West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore, collectively represents more than $600 billion in public assets under management, according to the announcement. The officials wrote a letter to banking industry leaders Monday, warning that they would begin considering institutions’ boycotts of fossil fuel companies before awarding state contracts.
“Reckless attacks on law-abiding energy companies cut off paychecks for workers and take food off the tables of hard-working families,” Moore and the other officials wrote. “The Biden Administration has resumed these attacks by attempting to ban energy exploration on public lands and reportedly pressuring U.S. banks and financial institutions to limit, encumber, or outright refuse financing for traditional energy production companies.”
“These misguided political schemes have impeded economic growth, driven up consumer costs, and regressed our country to foreign energy dependence,” the letter continued.
The fossil fuel industry provides jobs, health insurance, infrastructure and quality of life to Americans nationwide, they added.
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has blocked major pipelines, ditched oil drilling projects, introduced sweeping regulations and banned new oil and gas leases on federal lands. His administration is also pushing the Build Back Better Act, the budget bill passed by the House last week that includes several green energy handouts and a tax on methane emissions.
In August, the Treasury Department issued guidance saying the U.S. would oppose multilateral development banks’ involvement in future fossil fuel projects, a move applauded by environmental activists. Moore and the other financial officers said the move would cede future development “Chinese interests.”
“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 said in a statement.
“As a result, in less than a year our country has gone from energy independence to having a President who is begging OPEC and Russia to pump more oil,” he continued. “It’s time we fight back to protect our economies, jobs, tax revenue and energy independence from these increasing attacks on our critical industries.”
Top financial officers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming signed the letter.