CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The state of West Virginia has named five banks to its first-ever Restricted Financial Institution List due to a “conflict of interest” over coal policy.

West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore announced on Thursday that BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. are ineligible for state banking contracts because they are “engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies.”

“As Treasurer, I have a duty to act in the best interests of the State’s Treasury and our people when choosing financial services for West Virginia,” Treasurer Moore said in the release. “Any institution with policies aimed at weakening our energy industries, tax base and job market has a clear conflict of interest in handling taxpayer dollars.”

In January, state lawmakers passed Senate Bill 262, which authorizes the Treasurer to publish the Restricted Financial Institution List on his website and disqualify any financial institution on the List from state banking contracts.

A photo of WV Treasurer Riley Moore
West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore

“Each financial institution placed on the Restricted Financial Institution List today has published written environmental or social policies categorically limiting commercial relations with energy companies engaged in certain coal mining, extraction or utilization activities, rather than considering the financial or risk profile for each company,” Treasurer Moore said. “These policies explicitly limit commercial engagement with an entire energy sector based on subjective environmental and social policies.”

Moore said that fossil fuel severance taxes are one of West Virginia’s top revenue sources, accounting for millions of dollars a year.

“While the ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ or ‘ESG’ movement might be politically popular in California or New York, financial institutions need to understand their practices are hurting people across West Virginia,” Treasurer Moore said. “I simply cannot stand by and allow financial institutions working against West Virginia’s critical industries to profit off the very funds their policies attempt to diminish.”

The Restricted Financial Institutions List only bars the state of West Virginia from entering banking contracts with the listed institutions; it does not prevent those banks from operating in West Virginia.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D, WV), who has long supported coal in the state, introduced a bill on Wednesday that would fund clean energy efforts while including provisions to ensure fossil fuel resources “are not arbitrarily eliminated over the next decade.”