CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — A new rule by the Biden Administration would allow investment managers to take into account environmental and social factors when choosing investments, but West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore said he is against it.
According to a release from the U.S. Department of Labor from Nov. 22, Biden’s rule clarifies that retirement plan fiduciaries can take into account the potential financial benefits of investing in companies committed to positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) actions.
The new rule specifically removes previous legislation from former President Donald Trump that Moore says, “protected Americans’ retirement plans from unsound ESG investment practices.” Trump’s rule required investments to be chosen solely on “pecuniary factors”—meaning factors pertaining to money. Moore continued, “The ESG and socially responsible investment trends are nothing more than a marketing gimmick used by liberal activists and firms like BlackRock to prop up political allies and favored social initiatives.”
However, according to the Department of Labor release, Trump’s rules “unnecessarily restrained plan fiduciaries,” and Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Lisa M. Gomez said the new rule “will make workers’ retirement savings and pensions more resilient by removing needless barriers.”
The rule has a wide partisan divide, with most Democrats in favor and most Republicans siding against it. The rule is set to take effect in mid-January.
For a full timeline of rules from the past two years, click here.
Last week, Moore announced that he would seek nomination for the Republican candidate for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District following Rep. Alex Mooney’s announcement that he will run for the 2024 U.S. Senate nomination for Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat.