Moore fights against “awakened capitalism” | News, Sports, Jobs

CHARLESTON – State Treasurer Riley Moore is leading West Virginia and a coalition of states to warn banks from playing politics with taxpayer money.

In a press release and video released on Monday, Moore and finance officials from 15 other states wrote an open letter to the U.S. banking industry warning them against withdrawing investments from fossil fuel industries or making decisions about them. investments based on political considerations. Moore called it “Awakened capitalism“.

“I am announcing a multi-state coalition of state treasurers and state financial agents to fight the awakened capitalism that is happening in this country right now,” Moore said in a video statement. “Right now we have banks denying capital to the fossil fuel industry across the country. Coal, gas and oil are essential industries in our country. As a coalition, we have come together to say that we will no longer support it. “

According to the letter, Moore and the coalition said they would take collective action against banks that boycott investments in coal, oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Although each state has different laws governing what it can do, Moore said it was possible that states could close accounts at banks that choose to deny fossil fuel companies access to loans and other forms of banking services.

“We have a compelling interest for the government, when acting as participants in the financial services market on behalf of our respective states, to select financial institutions that are not engaged in tactics aimed at harming the very people.” whose money they manage ”, the letter said.

“In addition, we have a responsibility, as trustees and stewards of over $ 600 billion, to ensure that our financial service providers are free from harmful conflicts of interest that could jeopardize public funds.” , he added. the letter continued. “Any financial institution that has adopted policies aimed at reducing a large portion of the revenues of our states has a major conflict of interest against holding, maintaining or managing these funds. “

The letter is similar to a May letter sent by Moore and 14 state financial officers to John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy, raising concerns about White House pressure on institutions. banking and finance to stop lending to the fossil fuel industry. Moore accused Kerry of pushing for divestment that will force banks to discriminate against coal, oil and natural gas companies.

Biden also appointed Saule Omarova as the currency comptroller, a job that involves regulating banks. During a confirmation hearing, it was revealed that Omarova made comments in February about the possibility of coal, oil and natural gas companies going bankrupt, calling them “Industries in difficulty”.

“Many smaller players in this industry are likely to go bankrupt shortly” Omarova said at a seminar hosted by the Jain Family Institute, a nonprofit social science organization. “At least we want them to go bankrupt if we are to tackle climate change, don’t we?

In April, Biden announced a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. At a virtual summit with world leaders on global climate change over earlier this year, Biden told world leaders the goal is to make the United States carbon neutral by 2035.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland two weeks ago, Kerry told Bloomberg that “By 2030 in the United States, we will be out of coal. Moore thinks the federal government is pressuring banks to reject fossil fuel industries.

“In a state like mine in West Virginia, we rely on these industries not only for jobs and our economy, but also for our taxes. Moore said Monday. “We cannot stand idly by while these banks try to reduce our money but also manage our money. Having said that, we will start to reform our procurement process in the future. We want to do business with banks that want to do business with our people and with our state. “

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