Republican states are planning an all-out assault on woke banks

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

It was announced last week that the US officially entered into a recession as GDP has fallen for two consecutive quarters. Biden and his handlers have lied, and continue to lie about how bad the economy is under them in their war on fossil fuels as they pursue the implementation of the socialist Green New Deal.

American households will spend $5,915 more on everyday items this year than they did in 2021. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and gas prices at the pump are stinging.

In the latest report on U.S. government prices, Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi said that households are spending nearly $493 more each month than they did a year ago.

Now Republican states are pushing back on financial institutions that are helping the Democrat socialists.

“Republican state officials are readying plans to punish woke banks which push anti-fossil fuel policies and adhere to so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards,” accodording to Fox News.

West Virginia announced last week it would bar five major financial institutions, including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, from entering into banking contracts with the state treasurer’s office or any state agency. Each of the five corporations had committed to policies limiting commercial engagement with the fossil fuel industry which paid a whopping $769 million in taxes to West Virginia’s state government.

“We’re not going to pay for our own destruction, we’re not going to subsidize that,” West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore told FOX Business during an interview. “They have weaponized our tax dollars against the very people and industry that have generated them to begin with. That is why we’re pushing back against this ESG movement.”

He noted that U.S. Bancorp backed off its prohibition of fossil fuel lending and was, as a result, kept off the state’s restricted list of financial institutions.

It is likely that Moore’s first-of-its-kind action will be followed by many more across the country in response to major banks’ ESG push. A FOX Business analysis found that 15 Republican-led states that manage billions of dollars in public funds over the last year have proposed laws or policies aimed at punishing anti-fossil fuel banks.

“We’ve really seen, frankly, a weaponization of capital by some of the largest banks and fund managers in the world,” SFOF president Derek Kreifels said in an interview with FOX Business. “If you want to make social change in this country, we have a democratic process that you should utilize to get that done.”

“The SFOF has assembled a “NATO-like alliance” of state treasurers and financial officers who are committed to forwarding free market policies, Kreifels added. The group and its members have focused in particular on ESG issues in recent months, confronting the federal government, banks and S&P Global, a credit rating agency that assigns ESG scores,” Fox reported.

A dozen state financial officers contacted by FOX Business applauded West Virginia’s restriction of banks and confirmed they were crafting their own response to “woke banks.”

“The agency is continuing to work through the information we have received back from the companies we contacted for more information as well as finalizing our process for identifying suitable candidates for the Texas list,” said a representative for Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in an email.

As per the Texas legislature’s bill passed last year, Hegar is compiling a list similar to West Virginia’s. A letter of clarification on fossil fuel investment policies was sent to 19 financial institutions by Hegar as part of this effort.

“In addition to Texas, state financial officers in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas and North Dakota said they would take or consider action against banks that boycott energy companies. Kentucky and Oklahoma, like Texas, are compiling lists as required by recently-passed state laws,” Fox continued.

“These industries are economically integral to Kentucky,” Allison Ball, a spokesperson for the Kentucky State Treasurer, told the outlet. “They provide jobs for Kentuckians, fuel commutes and the supply chain, and keep the lights on. We want to support these signature industries.”

“We hope we have sent the message that if you won’t do business with Kentucky, we won’t do business with you,” Ball warned.

“Oklahoma State Treasurer Randy McDaniel’s office, meanwhile, is researching best practices from states with similar laws before moving forward, a spokesperson said. The Oklahoma legislature passed the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act requiring McDaniel to create and maintain a list of financial companies that boycott energy companies, but the law won’t go into effect until November,” the report added.

“For years now, the cult of ESG economic activists has been working overtime to infuse unwanted, woke ideology into the American economic system because they know their social policies wouldn’t pass the sniff test from voters,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said on July 27. “It’s anti-American, anti-freedom, a deliberate attempt to subvert our democracy and not in the best interest of Florida businesses, retirees, or investors.”

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis told FOX Business that he has put banks on notice that he opposes ESG standards. He noted that his office is taking related measures that will be announced “in due course.”

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee added that her office would determine future partnerships based on whether companies “stand for American values,” not the ESG rating system. She blamed higher prices at the pump and broader inflation on the Biden administration’s “ESG agenda.”

Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder said that he would work with the state’s legislature to ensure banks whose policies are detrimental to Louisiana “are eliminated from business opportunities in our state.”

“Treasurer Ellsworth believes that Idaho’s fiduciary duty is to the shareholder and not unelected stakeholders who pressure financial institutions to reduce lending to who they deem is a disfavored company or state through use of ESG criteria,” a spokesperson for Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth told FOX Business.


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