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Senate Passes Bill Targeting Banks That Shun Fossil Fuels

Riley Moore and family 2020.jpg

The West Virginia Senate advanced a bill that targets banks that shun fossil fuel companies.

Senate Bill 262 would give Treasurer Riley Moore the power to terminate contracts with financial institutions that avoid investments in coal, oil and gas.

The chamber approved the bill Thursday by a vote of 31-2.

Supporters said the bill would help the state’s fossil fuel producers, particularly coal companies.

“They’re struggling to receive the financial means to do business,” said Sen. Mark Maynard, R-Wayne. “This is just one more way to help them out.”

Sen. Owen Brown, D-Ohio, was one of only two no votes on the bill.

“I see this as government getting in the way of business, picking and choosing,” he said.

The bill would only apply to financial institutions that have contracts with the treasurer’s office.

It would not affect funds managed by the state Board of Treasury Investments, public employee pensions or the SMART 529 college savings plan.