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Moore leads resistance to Biden’s pressuring of banks

ELKINS — West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore is working with other state treasurers to fight President Joe Biden’s administration’s leaning on banks to help reduce U.S. carbon emissions.

“We are in a big fight right now with the Biden administration, who is putting pressure on banks, lending institutions in this country to get them to stop lending money, to stop financing fossil fuel industries here, and that’s coal, gas and oil,” Moore told The Inter-Mountain.

“I led a letter, with 14 other state treasurers from around the country, to say, ‘Listen, we are going to put you all on notice,'” Moore said. “‘We’re going to look at who’s complying with this.’

“We collectively control all the banking contracts in our respective states. And I don’t think it’s fair to the taxpayers of West Virginia to have a bank handling their money who is diametrically opposed to our economy, our industries, our way of life and our people.”

The letter was sent May 24 to John Kerry, the president’s special climate envoy. Moore has said he is prepared to terminate contracts with banks that pull back their lending to the fossil fuel industry based on the pressure from the administration. Moore has said it’s “a matter of life and death for my people.”

“So that is kind of our first warning shot on this, but it’s not going to be the last,” he told The Inter-Mountain this week. “This is a push that we’re going to continue to fight for, to tell lending institutions out there, ‘Listen, this is still a legal business in America.

“‘Who knows how long this administration is going to last? This is a potential short-term gain with a long-term loss. Play the long game here with us, and we’re certainly look at that in terms of you being a partner with the people of West Virginia.'”

Moore was in Elkins Tuesday on his way to Thomas, where he presented a $63,000 unclaimed properties check to the town.

“It’s not uncommon,” Moore said. “We just returned more than $20,000 to Charlestown here recently. It’s a nice windfall for the town, even though no one ever intended for it to happen that way.”

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