West Virginia bars BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and several other financial institutions from state contracts over ESG

 April 9, 2024

West Virginia will ban four additional financial institutions from consideration for state-funded contracts over their involvement in woke initiatives, the Washington Examiner reported. Riley Moore, the state's treasurer, announced the move Monday.

The Mountain State is adding to its list of banned financial institutions with Citibank, HSBC Holdings, Northern Trust, and TD Bank. Previously, heavy hitters such as Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and BlackRock were blocked.

State officials are fighting back against several initiatives, including energy policies that target fossil fuels like coal. West Virginia is the second-largest producer of coal in the nation, and even the state's GOP Gov. Jim Justice, has made a living removing it from the ground.

Besides the attack on fossil fuels, these same institutions also embrace the combined environmental, social, and governance agenda. These woke initiatives are a thinly veiled attempt at social engineering through corporations, but West Virginia is pushing back.

It's Working

So far, the original companies that were banned have lost out on $18 billion in revenue. "That’s certainly, I think, a tremendous loss for them," Moore told the Examiner.

"We really kicked off this coalition effort around this, so they are going to be other states looking at what we have done. And I would not be surprised in the future if you did see some of these institutions end up on other lists," the treasurer added.

Moore touted "quite a bit of a success story" after he persuaded Fifth Third Bank and BMO to nix the woke agenda. Those firms were on a 45-day probation period pending proof that they would not meddle in the fossil fuels industry through boycotts, and they conceded.

"At the end of the day, this is how we win. Trying to get banks to act like banks, keeping the free market free," Moore said.

While leftists seek to incentivize companies to move towards social engineering, Republicans have increasingly embraced a tough approach to combating ESG. West Virginia isn't the only state to formalize such a strategy.

Proactively Fighting ESG

The Texas State Board of Education pulled $8.5 billion in investments from BlackRock over its commitment to ESG. Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson is similarly pressuring BlackRock with a cease-and-desist order.

Last month, Watson accused a money manager at the firm of making "fraudulent statements, omissions, and other misrepresentations" about its involvement in ESG, Fox Business News reported. "Investment companies will not push their political agenda on Mississippians, especially through fraudulent and deceptive means," Watson said in a statement.

"All citizens should have the opportunity to make informed and educated decisions when investing their hard-earned money. If not, our office will hold these bad actors accountable," he added.

Like all leftist initiatives, ESG sounds like a positive move. After all, who doesn't want companies to proactively seek to make the world a cleaner, fairer place?

In practice, it's just another sinister plot to manipulate minds and funnel all of society into living in accordance with one narrow worldview. Therefore, it's a necessary and good move for states to do all they can to push back against it.

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