West Virginia state Treasurer Riley Moore — who has been leading the charge on the state level against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rules — said he was “elated” that Congress is trying to nullify a Biden rule, allowing those factors to be considered in retirement investing.
“I was elated to see the House, and the Senate, pass this resolution through the [Congressional Review Act (CRA)] to repeal this Biden rule, which obviously amended and changed the Trump [era] rule,” Moore told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Thursday. “[This] made all the sense in the world.”
Moore says this after the House and Senate passed H.R. 30, a CRA resolution that would essentially nullify President Joe Biden’s ESG rule or the Department of Labor’s “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” rule.
The Labor Department enables fund managers to prioritize ESG initiatives, a form of leftist activism in financial investing, when selecting which retirement investments to invest in and when they exercise shareholder rights, such as proxy voting. It was also a rollback of a rule made under former President Donald Trump to protect Americans’ retirement plans.
“Let’s only take financial considerations into our investment strategy for retirement funds, which obviously, this has to do with [Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)], and that governing statute and this rule obviously changed that and said, ‘Well, now you can take ESG factors into consideration,’ such as the environment,” the West Virginia state treasurer added. “[It’s] is a very slippery slope to head down in terms of people’s retirement dollars because [retirees] are the ones that are going to face all the risk in this. It’s not going to be the asset managers who are making considerable money off of these ESG funds.”
Moore, who has already announced he is running for Congress in 2024 for the state’s Second Congressional District, said this is also one of the reasons he is running for Congress. Noting that Congress has been picking up momentum against ESG, he added, “I’m very excited to hopefully get there in 2024 and throw my shoulder to the wheel and jump into this fight as well, on a federal level.”
“I have the roadmap. I just wanted, and that’s why I want to be able to take it to the next level,” he added.
As West Virginia’s state treasurer, Moore has been leading the charge against the financial institutions boycotting the fossil fuel industry, which is one of the main components of the ESG standards. This led Moore to blacklist BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, and other financial institutions pushing the standards and trying to boycott the fossil fuel industry.
In fact, last week, it was announced that the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments (WVBTI), which he chairs, outperformed the funds run by BlackRock and other firms blacklisted from doing business with the state the last year for boycotting the fossil fuel industry.
During the interview, Moore also acknowledged Tim Buckley, the CEO of Vanguard, had to recently defend his position after he removed the world’s second-largest asset manager from a climate alliance with asset managers. Moore pointed to Buckley stating in an interview that Vanguard’s “research indicates that ESG investing does not have any advantage over broad-based investing” after it showed that the energy sector, including oil and gas firms, had gained nearly 60 percent last year, while tech stocks (which a lot of ESG funds are wrapped up) in the same amount of time fell by more than 30 percent.
“[ESG] has infiltrated every aspect of the financial services sector out here now. I mean, it’s gonna take a lot to roll this back [and] I’m looking forward to that fight,” Moore concluded.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.