Louisiana among states warning banks against targeting energy companies

Southern Energy Conference

Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder cosigned a letter with 15 other state treasurers and chief financial officers warning large banks to back off an “ongoing and growing boycott” of traditional energy companies.

If not, the coalition of mostly energy-producing states said it would take a combined $600 billion in contracts elsewhere, The Center Square reports. 

“We have a compelling government interest, when acting as participants in the financial services market on behalf of our respective states, to select financial institutions that are not engaged in tactics to harm the very people whose money they are handling,” the letter reads. “Any financial institution that has adopted policies aimed at diminishing a large portion of our states’ revenue has a major conflict of interest against holding, maintaining, or managing those funds.”

The signatories say they are attempting to collectively protect their state economies and critical industries. Energy-rich states such as West Virginia, Texas and North Dakota are among them, though South Carolina, Alabama and Nebraska are also included.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Louisiana’s natural gas production and oil refining capacity makes it a top energy producer. The industry employs more than 250,000 people.

Schroder has already endorsed similar tactics as chairman of the Louisiana Bond Commission.

The commission removed JPMorgan Chase from a $700 million gas-and-fuel tax revenue bond series last month, after the banking giant failed to answer an inquiry about restricting lending services to legal firearm companies and gun purchasers—an express violation of its Louisiana underwriting agreement.

The coalition indicated it would take similar concrete steps to select financial institutions “that support a free market.” Read the full story.