Texas threatens to withdraw funds from banks boycotting fossil fuel companies

A group of 15 state tax agents, including Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, signed a letter to U.S. banks threatening to withdraw $ 600 billion in funds from entities that reject funding for the fossil fuel industry.

“At a time when countries around the world face energy supply constraints that will exacerbate the inflation crisis and threaten our economic recovery, this administration is using all the tools at its disposal to attempt to reduce traditional sources of energy production. ‘home energy,’ Hegar said in a statement. a statement to texan.

“I am proud to join with my fellow finance officials from these energy-producing states in defending our national economies against these efforts. “

There is a growing movement to push big banks to stop funding producers of coal, natural gas, oil and other fossil fuels. With that comes a broader push for all major institutions to divest themselves completely from fossil fuels – this is especially important on U.S. college campuses.

“[T]The primary objective of our actions … [is] to protect the economies, jobs and energy independence of our states against these unwarranted attacks on our critical industries ”, we read in the letter.

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore is the primary signer of the letter, first reported through The Federalist. Besides Texas and West Virginia, the states that signed the letter are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

The letter adds that each state will take its own steps to address the collective threat, but stops before giving details.

Texas accounts for both the largest slice of that $ 600 billion pie and the country’s largest production of oil and natural gas.

The letter adds, “While we understand that you may be under enormous undue pressure from the Biden administration, we are simply asking financial institutions to provide funding on an impartial, not a political basis. “

Since taking office, Joe Biden has issued various policies aimed at restricting the fossil fuel industry – such as torpedoing the Keystone XL pipeline and prohibition new drilling on federal lands.

Moore said The Federalist that he expects more GOP-led states to join the coalition.

Texas has already taken action on this issue. Senate Bill (SB) 13 from 87e ordinary session prohibits state agencies from using financial institutions that boycott energy companies. In order for these companies to receive business from Texas, there must be written verification from the entity that they are not engaging in such boycotts.

Likewise, this year, the legislator prohibited municipalities to ban natural gas on their territory. More famous still, this was done by the city of Berkeley in an effort to reduce its use of fossil fuels. The struggle for state resources between environmentalists and traditional energy resources has been brewing for some time.

“Unlike the Biden administration, Texas will fight to support jobs and businesses in the oil and gas industry and work to ensure our country has the domestic fuel supplies necessary to meet our energy needs,” added Hegar. “We know energy is not a binary choice. Texas has proven that renewable energy sources and fossil fuel-based production can and must coexist to meet the needs of a growing and vibrant economy.

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