West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore (R) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that 2022 was a big year for exposing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy movement, which he describes as a “merger of corporate and liberal political power.” Moore, who has already announced he is running for Congress in 2024, said the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would help expose the policy movement, as House Republicans have already said they would launch an antitrust investigation into the issue. Asked how he felt about efforts to combat and expose the policy movement over the last year, he agreed that there was “a lot of movement” in 2022, which started with him divesting his state’s funds from BlackRock due to the world’s largest asset manager pushing the policy movement. Last year, Moore became one of the leading voices against financial firms pushing ESG policies into their lending decisions and led a 16-state coalition to fight back against the divestment movement. West Virginia was also the first state to pull investment funds from firms like BlackRock that embrace “net zero” investment strategies, which would ultimately hurt the state’s fossil fuel industry. Politico previously noted a “slew of anti-ESG bills circulating in state legislatures around the country” following the multiple-state coalition, such as Senate Bill 262 that ultimately allowed Moore, as the state’s treasurer, to “publish a list of companies believed to be engaging in ‘energy boycotts’ and bar them from winning state banking contracts.” “When I divested from Blackrock in January of this year,” Moore explained to Breitbart News. “This was not kind of a hot burning topic at that point. And we’ve seen things ramp up since then. You know, obviously, it was the first state to divest from BlackRock, then it was also the first state to put out a restricted financial institution list where we borrowed certain financial institutions from contracts and terminated contracts based on the boycotted fossil fuel industry.” Moore added that the excellent year of exposing the environmental, social, and governance policy movement was “capped off” by the House Republicans launching an antitrust investigation into the policy movement. Multiple Republicans sent a letter to the Steering Committee for Climate Action 100+ — a group that pushes corporations to “take necessary action on climate change” and has spearheaded the left’s ESG movement — to demand documents showing the group “facilitating and coordinating companies’ efforts to achieve ESG-related goals” since December 2016. “I think that, like, you know, there’s no better disinfectant out there than sunlight, right? And so I think that we’re gonna get a lot of sunlight here from Congress, which will also help us at the state level, determine how we’re going to act moving forward,” Moore said about the prospect of further investigation into the ESG movement. “I think [the Republican-controlled House is] headed in a good direction... [Congressional investigation] is going to help the states because we do need this additional information, to try to make some decisions.” Additionally, while some observers have compared environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies to critical race theory (CRT), Moore noted, “this is far more complex.” “CRT was obviously a theory and a prism to look at the world through as it relates to what they call kind of pervasive and systemic racism. This is something that permeates every aspect of the financial services, industry, and sector,” Moore stated. “I think that’s why there’s going to be a lot of layers to dig through on this. So I don’t think this is going away anytime soon. Because we’re, I think, we are winning, but we’ve not won. And I think that there’s a lot more work that’s going to have to be done not only in the next couple of years, but I’d say the next several years, to be able to, hopefully, return the free market to being free.” Furthermore, when he announced his bid for the state’s Second Congressional District last year, Moore said he would be a fighter “for American energy against woke corporate activism.” He aims to replace Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who currently represents the congressional district but has announced a bid to oust Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in 2024. Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss..
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