West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced the Board of Treasury Investments, which manages the state’s roughly $8 billion operating funds, will no longer use a BlackRock Inc. investment fund as part of its banking transactions.
Moore, a Republican, was elected to office in 2020 and ran on a platform of accountability, promising to shake things up if elected.
In a tweet, Moore said, “Today I announced my office will no longer use BlackRock, Inc. investment fund for banking transactions.”
“Any company that thinks Communist China is a better investment than WV energy or American capitalism clearly does not have the best intentions for WV,” Moore declared.
Joe Kent, an America First Republican running for Congress, applauded the move in a quote tweet: “Every state should follow this example, well done West Virginia!”
Every state should follow this example, well done West Virginia! https://t.co/Uza7QZvYks— Joe Kent for WA-3 (@joekent16jan19) January 17, 2022
According to the statement, the decision was based on recent reports that BlackRock has urged companies to embrace “net zero” investment strategies that would harm the coal, oil and natural gas industries, while increasing investments in Chinese companies that subvert national interests and damage West Virginia’s manufacturing base and job market.
Moore said of the move in the statement, “As the state’s chief financial officer and chairman of the Board of Treasury Investments, I have a duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are managed in a responsible, financially sound fashion which reflects the best interests of our state and country, and I believe doing business with BlackRock runs contrary to that duty.”
The action is consistent with his belief that the state should not do business with firms whose corporate policies directly threaten West Virginians’ interests and livelihoods, according to Moore.
Fox Business also reported that last month, educational nonprofit Consumers’ Research sent a letter to ten governors, including the governor of West Virginia, whose state pension funds are most invested with BlackRock, warning about the money management firm’s heavy investments in China.
“The Chinese government’s blatant interference and controls over businesses and markets creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty and risk for anyone attempting to invest there,” Moore explained.
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