State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced that West Virginia has taken a significant step to protect coal, oil and natural gas industries and jobs in the state with the passage of Senate Bill 262 on Saturday, a bill the Treasurer proposed to lawmakers.
The bill will allow Treasurer Moore to prevent state agencies from entrusting billions of taxpayer dollars to banks engaged in boycotts of traditional energy companies.
“I am proud to lead the way to protect our coal, oil and natural gas companies from unfair, anti-American attempts to cut off their access to capital and banking services,” Treasurer Moore said. “The current situation in Europe clearly demonstrates the dangers of letting woke capitalists weaken and destroy our domestic energy producers. It’s time to fight back against those who are trying to wipe out thousands of middle-class jobs, and once again put America first and restore our energy independence.”
Under West Virginia law, it is the State Treasurer’s duty to obtain banking services on behalf of the state and approve banking contracts between state agencies and financial institutions. Senate Bill 262 will allow the Treasurer’s Office to create a “Restricted Financial Institution List” consisting of banks that have been shown to refuse, terminate or limit commercial activity with coal, oil or natural gas companies without a reasonable business purpose.
The Treasurer may exclude banks on the list from eligibility for state banking contracts, ensuring that financial institutions are not entrusted with the state revenue and taxpayer dollars they are attempting to diminish.
“This bill is essential to help us push back against the Biden Administration and its extremist allies who are trying to unfairly pressure banks and financial institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industries,” Treasurer Moore said. “Now more than ever, we must ensure our domestic energy producers have the capital they need to power our economy and provide reliable, affordable energy for our country.”
Since last May, Treasurer Moore has been leading national efforts to push back against attempts by President Biden and his allies to diminish access to capital for fossil fuel companies. In November, Treasurer Moore announced a 15-state coalition of state Treasurers and financial officers who have committed to reforming their state banking contract process to potentially limit business with banks that are engaged in boycotts of coal, oil and natural gas companies.
Senate Bill 262 now heads to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.