WV Treasurer Moore slams DoL after new rule giving credence to ESG scores

01 December 2022- West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore today criticized a newly issued U.S. Department of Labor rule that now gives investment managers broad discretion to consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in their retirement plan products.

“I’m extremely disappointed the Biden administration has rolled back President Trump’s rules that protected Americans’ retirement plans from unsound ESG investment practices,” Treasurer Moore said. “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.”

Treasurer Moore said investment managers should strictly use objective financial metrics in their fiduciary decisions – something the Trump-era rule required.

“The subjective, political nature of ESG investing trends could present tremendous harm to consumers looking for sound retirement options,” Treasurer Moore said. “The fact that now defunct crypto exchange FTX had higher ESG ratings than ExxonMobil exposes the clear flaws in this investing trend, and I’m worried Americans could be deceived into placing their retirement money into investment products that are promoted more for political factors than financial stability.”

Treasurer Moore urged Congressional leaders to take action to roll back this potentially harmful agency rule.

“I hope Congress can step up and rein in this attempt to dupe Americans into using their retirement plans to fund woke social initiatives,” Treasurer Moore said.