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West Virginia Adds 4 More Banks to List Against ESG Movement

W. Virginia Adds 4 Banks to Restricted Financial Institution List in Latest Blow to Radical ESG Movement

The state of West Virginia has recently taken a stand against the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement promoted by major financial institutions such as BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo & Co.

These institutions have been placed on the state’s Restricted Financial Institution List. In a recent move, State Treasurer Riley Moore added Citigroup, TD Bank, HSBC, and The Northern Trust Company to this list, collectively managing trillions of dollars in assets. This action follows a series of setbacks delivered to the ESG movement by conservative states.

Moore emphasized that West Virginia is unwilling to tolerate these financial institutions’ actions effectively boycotting the fossil fuel industry, which is a significant part of the state’s economy. He asserted that coal consumption is not decreasing as purported by climate activists and emphasized the state’s commitment to standing by its fossil fuel industries.

Financial institutions on West Virginia’s Restricted Financial Institution List lose the opportunity to bid on potentially lucrative deals. The Investment and Banking Services Division of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office, managing $22 billion in banking transactions last year, will exclude the newly listed institutions from future bidding opportunities.

Moore’s office conducted an extensive review of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies of the listed banks before adding them to the Restricted Financial Institution List. The ESG movement advocates for divestment from traditional energy industries in favor of green energy industries to combat global warming.

There’s a clear conflict of interest in states conducting business with companies promoting ESG agendas. By collaborating with such entities, states essentially utilize taxpayer funds to advance radical social agendas, contradicting the beliefs of many citizens. In West Virginia’s case, partnering with investment giants boycotting the fossil fuel industry undermines local companies.

A growing number of states, primarily led by Republican administrations, are pushing back against the ESG movement. This resistance is economically motivated, as social movements guiding investment strategies often lead to diminished returns compared to sound financial analysis. The author applauds these states for their stance and encourages them to continue exerting pressure.

West Virginia’s decision to restrict financial institutions engaged in ESG activities reflects a broader trend among conservative states. These states are rejecting the ESG movement’s influence, citing economic concerns and the divergence of social agendas from financial prudence. This resistance underscores the ongoing debate regarding the role of finance in social and environmental issues.

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