More than a dozen Republican state treasurers are threatening to pull assets from large financial institutions if they agree to decarbonize their lending and investment portfolios, Axios has learned.
Fifteen of them, led by coal-heavy West Virginia, say they’re prepared to use this financial muscle to push back.
The effort includes treasurers from other states with large energy industry presences such as North Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.
What’s happening: The state officials sent a letter on Tuesday to Kerry, who’s leading the administration’s efforts to enlist banks in its climate policy fight.
“We intend to put banks and financial institutions on notice of our position, as we urge them not to give in to pressure from the Biden administration to refuse to lend to or invest in coal, oil and natural gas companies,” the officials wrote.
In an interview with Axios, West Virginia state Treasurer Riley Moore said he was prepared to terminate contracts with banks that pull back their fossil fuel industry lending in response to administration pressure.
“Frankly, it is not fair for the people of West Virginia to allow a bank to handle our money when they’re diametrically opposed to our way of life,” Moore said.
What they’re saying: Moore called the issue “a matter of life and death for my people.” Read more…