The (Martinsburg) Journal-News published this editorial on May 29th:
Not too many years ago we remember the late Robert Murray, founder and longtime head of Murray Energy Corp., who told us how the administration of then-President Barack Obama urged the country’s major financial institutions to stop lending to energy companies – especially the companies that have mined coal.
While the Obama administration’s efforts did not immediately bear fruit, it appears that President Biden and his administration are now back on the tree with the watering can. But this time, they don’t just have coal mining in their sights; it’s also oil and natural gas.
The revelation of the government’s recent war on reliable energy sources that power the nation came from Politico, which reported that Secretary of State John Kerry has pushed US banks to focus more on mitigating climate change. Part of that effort is subtle pressure on banks to stop lending to companies that extract energy from the ground – coal, oil, and natural gas.
West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore is one of 15 state treasurers who are calling for the Biden Administration for their tactics.
On their own, a group of 15 treasurers – many from smaller, high-energy countries – would not have enough leverage to make a difference. To swing the pendulum, however, treasurers are threatening to divest their holdings – a combined $ 600 billion in pension plans and other state assets – from banks that succumb to government tactics.
“… We firmly oppose an economic policy of command and control that seeks to subordinate the free market to the political will of government officials,” said Moore. “We refuse to allow the federal government to label our critical industries as losers simply because of President Biden’s own radical political preferences and ideologies.
“We intend to make banks and financial institutions aware of our position as we urge them not to give in to pressure from the Biden administration to lend or invest in coal, oil and natural gas companies.”
This is a strong stance that Moore and the other 14 treasurers will need to hold on to for years to come.
White House coercion should not be used to influence a bank’s lending process. But that’s where we seem to be today.
We applaud Moore for fighting against the federal government’s ongoing energy excess, and we urge him and other state treasurers to stand up to Biden’s growing major government machinery.