The West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments (BTI), which is charged with managing about $8 billion in operating funds for the state, has informed the world’s largest investment manager, BlackRock Inc., it would no longer do business with it.
State Treasurer Riley Moore announced BTI was withdrawing all funds managed by BlackRock for the state, and would not do business with the firm in the future due to the firm’s push for climate-focused investment strategies harmful to the state’s economy.
Anti-West Virginia, Pro-China
BlackRock’s has taken actions which damage West Virginia’s economy and subvert U.S. interests, by urging companies to take up “net zero” investment strategies harmful to the coal, oil, and natural gas industries, while also increasing investments in Chinese companies, said Moore in a statement announcing the BTI’s decision.
“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,” Moore said. “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.”
Drop the Politics
BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, is making decisions that affect shareholders and investors, based on his own personal policy preferences, not an honest assessment of net zero business prospects or what is good for shareholders, says Scott Shepard, director of the Free Enterprise Project at The National Center for Public Policy Research.
“The studies and research BlackRock relies upon to argue that divestment from carbon on a pre-defined schedule, rather than based on the development of technology, is good for shareholders are completely partisan and full of holes,” said Shepard. “Meanwhile, India, has been very clear it has no intention of reducing carbon emissions and China only pays lip service to cutting carbon dioxide, but then increases its own carbon output year after year.
“You only have to look at Europe this winter, where they’ve had to turn on old, high carbon dioxide emitting coal factories because they divested out of nuclear, which is clean, and they divested out of natural gas, which is cleaner, to see what happens when politics gets ahead of science, technology, and financial practicality,” Shepard said. “Larry needs to get back to making money for his investors and shareholders and drop the politics before he finds himself forced by fiduciary loan regulations and lawsuits to do exactly that.”
Kenneth Artz (KApublishing@gmx.com) writes from Dallas, Texas.