West Virginia treasurer rips top banks for blacklisting fossil fuels: 'This is what powers the country'

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West Virginia treasurer slams banks standing against coal: ‘This is what powers the country’

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore (R) discusses his state’s action to fight financial firms who are refusing to back coal companies

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore slammed financial firms for refusing to back coal companies on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" Monday, defending his efforts which would push back against top institutions such as Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BlackRock by refusing to grant them new banking contracts. 

"They have outright prohibitions on lending to the fossil fuel industry," he said, putting emphasis on thermal coal.

"Thermal coal is obviously important to West Virginia, but it's also important to the country," he added.

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FILE – In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File) (AP)

Moore went on to criticize top officials' push for green energy, citing this push as the impetus for the "war on coal" that occurred during the Obama administration when, according to Moore, thousands of West Virginians lost their jobs.

"This is the latest iteration of that [war on coal]. They're taking this on with a religious, zealous attempt to move away from the fossil fuel industry," he said.

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Moore also cited the need for coal power, listing the resource as a way to heat and cool homes and power vehicles.

FILE – In this March 22, 2014, file photo, a CSX freight train rolls past a grade crossing in Mount Airy, Md. CSX Corp. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, reported better-than-expected net income in the third quarter even as coal volumes continued double-d (AP Images)

"If they're going to continue to boycott us, then we're not going to do business with them."

While BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo did not reply to Fox News' request for comment, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan walked back their alleged fault in the controversy.

"Morgan Stanley does not boycott fossil fuel companies. We remain committed to our clients [and employees] conducting business in West Virginia," Fox News' Brian Kilmeade reported the company said. 

Kilmeade noted J.P. Morgan responded as well, saying, "This decision is short-sighted and disconnected from the facts. Our business practices are not in conflict with this anti-free market law." 

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Moore, however, pushed back against their claims.

"They are the distortion in the market. What we're doing is fighting to keep the free market free," Moore said. "We just want banks to make decisions based on risk and capital, and make loans based on that, not on some left-wing political ideology…"  

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