Treasurer Riley Moore recently told "Fox & Friends" that Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and BlackRock have "outright prohibitions on lending to the fossil fuel industry" and that they are very explicit about thermal coal.
"Thermal coal obviously is important to West Virginia, but it's important to the country," said Moore. "It is baseload energy. This is what powers the country, and these folks are in this breakneck liberal ideology that is pushing us towards this green energy ideology that is going to just drive inflation even higher."
Moore has retaliated by refusing to grant new banking contracts to Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and BlackRock.
"It will cost [them] millions," said Moore. "This is the way it goes sometimes. You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes."
Economist Jerry Bowyer says Moore is in the right.
"He's looking out for the interest of his state, particularly for the interest of the taxpayers and also retirees in that thermal coal is very important to the economy of West Virginia," Bowyer tells American Family News. "It's very important to the United States because we run on electricity, and a very high proportion of electricity is coming from coal. But it's particularly important for West Virginia."
Scott Shepard of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research thinks officials in other states ought to take note.
"What Riley Moore is doing in West Virginia is something that red states ought to be doing across the country," he submits.
At least one of the institutions, Morgan Stanley, told Fox News they do not boycott fossil fuel industry and remain committed to their clients and employees conducting business in West Virginia. JP Morgan told "Fox & Friends" the following:
"The decision is short-sighted and disconnected from facts. Our business practices are not in conflict with this anti-free market law."
Moore finds it "hilarious" that West Virginia is being accused of being anti-free market, adding these institutions are the distortion in the market.
"What we're doing is fighting to keep the free market free," Moore told Fox. "We just want banks to assess risk and capital and make loans based on that, not some left-wing political ideology out there -- Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) that they have been pushing."
Bowyer says concerns about ESG are not overblown.
"I've participated in a couple thousand of these annual meetings, and there have been quite a few of these resolutions on the ballot before shareholders that have received institutional support," Bowyer accounts.