A coalition of states are pushing back against the growing trend of “woke” banks.
A group of 15 states released an open letter threatening to boycott banks that divest from traditional energy sources. Some banks have received pressure to divest from oil and gas, but many states’ residents rely heavily on those industries for their economy and state funding for education, among other things.
“As the chief financial officers of our states, we have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of our people – so if a company says it will engage in tactics to diminish our state’s funds and destroy our people’s livelihoods, we cannot entrust those same institutions with taxpayer dollars,” West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore said. “We cannot allow companies that have a stated goal of harming key industries or the economies of our states to then turn around and try to profit from our states’ finances.”
The coalition represents about $600 billion in business, which is sure to get some attention. “I’m proud to continue to stand with my colleagues against these attacks on our states’ coal, oil and natural gas industries,” Treasurer Moore said. “These industries – which are engaged in perfectly legal activities – provide jobs, paychecks and benefits to thousands of hard-working families in our states and we will not stand idly by and allow our peoples’ livelihoods to be destroyed to advance a radical social agenda.”
The letter is a public warning that the states will prioritize jobs in their states over the interest of large banks.
“We are writing to notify you that we will be taking collective action in response to the
ongoing and growing economic boycott of traditional energy production industries by U.S.
financial institutions,” the letter reads. “Just as each state represented in this letter is unique in its governing laws and economy, our actions will take different forms. However, the overarching objective of our actions will be the same – to protect our states’ economies, jobs, and energy independence from these unwarranted attacks on our critical industries.”