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Amid deadly flooding and intense heat waves caused by a warming climate, West Virginia’s Treasurer, Riley Moore, recently announced a move to bar five financial institutions from doing business with the state because they are purportedly “boycotting” fossil fuels.

The proclamation that the state would stop doing business with certain banks and asset managers over their fossil fuel financing is particularly confusing for many reasons — namely because these financial giants are some of the biggest financiers of fossil fuels in the world. Some even boasted about it in their responses to Moore’s inquiries into the matter earlier this year.

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James Kotcon is the conservation chair for the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. He is an associate professor at West Virginia University and is recognized as an authority on energy and air and water quality issues. Kotcon was instrumental in Morgantown signing the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.

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