West Virginia Republican Treasurer Riley Moore announced on Monday that the state’s Treasury Board of Investments will no longer work with BlackRock for banking transactions due to the investment firm’s animosity toward fossil fuels. and his friendship with communist China.
“As the state’s Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the Board of Treasury Investments, I have a duty to ensure that taxpayers’ money is managed in a responsible and financially sound manner, which reflects the best interests of our state and our country, and I believe that doing business with BlackRock violates that obligation,” Moore said in a press release.
The West Virginia Treasurer’s Office has raised issues with the company’s commitment to ‘net-zero’ emissions investment strategies at the expense of state workers who rely on coal, oil and gas natural. Moore also severed state relations with BlackRock due to the group’s increased investment in Chinese interests.
“The Chinese government’s blatant interference and controls on businesses and markets creates a huge amount of uncertainty and risk for anyone trying to invest there,” Moore added.
BlackRock did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment on Moore’s decision.
In December, the nonprofit educational organization Consumers’ Research wrote a letter to 10 governors, including West Virginia consumers and governments, warning consumers and governments about BlackRock’s dealings with China.
“BlackRock’s channeling of billions of US capital into China carries risks not present in other markets, risks that threaten the big bets the company is placing on high Middle Kingdom yields” , wrote Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research. “Chinese companies are not held to the same transparency standards as their Western counterparts, so foreign investors often struggle to appreciate the true risk profile of what they are investing in.”
Whether other states will follow Moore’s lead remains an open question.
“I know several other states are considering this as well,” Moore told The Federalist. “I think this is the start of a big setback.”
In November, Moore led a 15-state coalition pledging to store $600 billion in taxpayer assets elsewhere with companies that refuse to invest in fossil fuels. Wall Street’s refusal to invest in capital-intensive industry has been the main obstacle to energy production. However, the Republican treasurers of Ohio and Oklahoma, each of the top 10 oil-producing states, remain absent from the coalition.
The backlash against BlackRock for its antagonism to the industry began to escalate last year after Texas lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in the spring to order state pension funds to withdraw investments from the company.
In a letter to Texas politicians revealed last year by Alex Epstein, author of “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” the company attempted to save face with lawmakers by claiming to be a proud proponent of power generation in the means of reliable and inexpensive fuels. CEO Larry Fink, however, simultaneously pledged in his 2022 letter to executives the company’s efforts to achieve “net-zero” emissions, a prospect incompatible with a thriving oil and gas industry.
“Instead of acknowledging the immense value of oil/gas and apologizing for BlackRock’s role in today’s energy shortages, Larry Fink’s 2022 letter makes a banal reference to their value and doesn’t even mention today’s energy crisis, let alone BlackRock’s culpability,” Epstein wrote.
Tristan Justice is the Western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan is a graduate of George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected].