WV Treasurer Moore pushes Congress to block COP28 agreements that phase-out coal

05 December 2023- State Treasurer Riley Moore today condemned comments made by Biden Administration Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry at an international United Nations climate change summit, where Kerry announced the United States would begin a phase-out of all existing coal-based power plants and called on coal use to be eliminated across the world.

Treasurer Moore also urged Congress to exert its authority to block the international agreements made at the summit.

“John Kerry has made the Biden Administration’s position crystal clear: they want to eliminate the coal industry worldwide regardless of the economic destruction or inflation it will cause,” Treasurer Moore said. “For the past three years, Kerry – on behalf of the President – has been working behind the scenes on an unrelenting campaign to pressure private companies and global elites to eliminate fossil fuels and now he’s no longer hiding their efforts to destroy this critical sector of our economy.

“Not only will this weaken the United States, but it will also embolden China – which is continuing to build up its coal-fired infrastructure,” Treasurer Moore said. “China will not abide by any of these international agreements because they know coal is an affordable, reliable source of energy. This agreement will be an unnecessary, self-inflicted wound to the American economy.”

Over the weekend, Kerry announced at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) that the United States would join the international Powering Past Coal Alliance, which would commit the U.S. to building no new coal-fired power plants and to phase out existing plants.

“We will be working to accelerate unabated coal phase-out across the world, building stronger economies and more resilient communities,” Kerry said.

Later at the conference, Kerry said coal should be eliminated across the world, telling those gathered, “There shouldn’t be any more coal power plants permitted anywhere in the world.”

Treasurer Moore said if the goals of Kerry and President Joe Biden are achieved, it would not only devastate the West Virginia economy, but that of the entire United States.

“Our economy is already reeling from the rampant inflation suffered under the Biden Administration, and if we allow them to achieve their goals of destroying coal and other fossil fuels like oil and gas, it will literally be ‘lights out’ for West Virginia and United States,” Treasurer Moore said.

“Even the head of the COP28 summit has said there is ‘no science’ behind this fossil fuel phase-out, adding it would be impossible to achieve these goals ‘unless you want to take the world back into caves,’” Treasurer Moore said. “We cannot allow these radical elites to destroy our economy in the name of fake science.”

Treasurer Moore called on Congress to take steps to block any international anti-coal commitments made by Kerry at the U.N. summit.

“Just because John Kerry and his fellow jet-setting global elites made a few speeches in between cocktail parties at some international soiree does not mean the United States is bound to his promises,” Treasurer Moore said. “I urge Congress to exert its authority and reject any attempts to commit the United States into an international climate cabal that would destroy our nation’s energy sector and overall economy.”

Since May 2021, Treasurer Moore has been leading the charge to speak out and fight back against Kerry, the Biden Administration and their corporate allies’ attempts to undermine the coal, oil and natural gas industries. That November, Treasurer Moore announced a 15-state coalition of state Treasurers and financial officers who have committed to reforming their state banking contract process to potentially limit business with banks that are engaged in boycotts of coal, oil and natural gas companies.

The following January, Treasurer Moore was the first state official to divest funds from BlackRock over its ESG activism. He also championed legislation to create the country’s first Restricted Financial Institutions List, which prohibits state business with firms shown to be engaged in boycotts of the fossil fuel industries.