West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore announced this week that the state would be placing five financial institutions on a restricted list that bars them from securing state banking contracts over what Moore describes as “boycotts of fossil fuel industries.”
The companies—BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo—ironically represent major players in the finance industry that have done very little to divest themselves from fossil fuel companies. Measures that would actually require Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs to meaningfully address climate change recently failed, while BlackRock actively fought back against accusations that it was divesting from fossil fuels earlier this year.
BlackRock’s statements came as the state of Texas considered dropping the firm from its pensions. In March, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent a letter demanding answers from BlackRock and 18 other financial institutions over concerns—which Hegar apparently shares with Moore—about firms not doing business with polluters.
Watching companies face the wrath of climate activists as shareholders fail to give a shit about climate change, while also being penalized by Big Oil-loving states terrified that their piece of the Big Oil pie may disappear, sure seems bizarre. Yet it shows just how meaningless both climate promises are from the finance sector and Republicans’ witch hunts against companies paying lip service to anyone concerned about the climate crisis.