How an Organized Republican Effort Is Punishing Corporations for Climate Action

Mr. Moore, the West Virginia state treasurer, coordinated a letter in November from 16 state treasurers and comptrollers to banks across ...


Mr. Moore, the West Virginia state treasurer, coordinated a letter in November from 16 state treasurers and comptrollers to banks across the country threatening “collective action in response to the continued and growing economic boycott of traditional power generation industries by US financial institutions. ”

“We sincerely hope that no financial institution will be rendered ineligible to provide banking services to our states,” the letter said.

And in January, Mr. Moore withdrew about $20 million from a fund managed by BlackRock because the company encouraged other companies to reduce their emissions. BlackRock still manages several billions for the West Virginia state pension system. “We’re divesting from BlackRock because they’re divesting from us,” Moore said in an interview.

Privately, elected officials in conservative states have been even more blunt.

“These big banks are signaling virtue because they are woke,” wrote Gary Howell, a West Virginia state representative who has sponsored a bill that would blacklist companies that have divested from combustibles. fossils, wrote in a Feb. 8 email to Mr. Moore. The message was obtained by Documented, a corporate watchdog group, under a Freedom of Information Act request. “They shut up or get on the list, that’s my goal,” he wrote.

Mr. Howell did not respond to a request for comment.

Idaho’s top elected officials, including the governor and the entire congressional delegation, sent a letter last week to the managing director of S&P Global, the rating agency, objecting to the company’s use of ESG measures in its ranking of states. “It is impossible for the State of Idaho not to conclude that S&P has adopted a politicized rating system,” the Republicans wrote. Officials in other states, including Utah, sent similar letters.

Curtis Loftis, the South Carolina state treasurer, emailed senior JPMorgan executives Sept. 1 and warned banks “to steer clear of political culture wars and especially s ‘refrain from the little “woke” cancel culture.”

BlackRock’s Mr. Fink has become a prime target of the Tories. Last June, BlackRock teamed up with Vanguard and State Street to help an activist hedge fund, Engine No. 1, win three Exxon board seats in a bid to push the energy giant to reduce its carbon footprint.

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Newsrust - US Top News: How an Organized Republican Effort Is Punishing Corporations for Climate Action
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