On Monday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-1 to approve new rules about “climate risks” that require publicly traded companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and describe how climate change is affecting their business operations.
According to The Associated Press, businesses that are public companies would also be required to develop transition plans for managing climate risk; explain how they intend to meet climate goals; and document the impact of severe weather events on their finances.
Marc Morano of Climate Depot tells AFN the SEC vote represents a backdoor attempt by climate activists to use a “layer of bureaucracy” to enact their radical agenda that failed to get approved in Congress.
“They’re not having Congress pass a big bill with public hearings and town hall meetings, and talk radio and constituents calling,” he says. “They’re doing this through the regulatory agencies of the administrative state.”
In fact, the AP story states the SEC vote represents a “drive across the [federal] government to address climate change.” That goal comes after President Joe Biden vowed last year to cut greenhouse gases and move the U.S. to “clean energy” by 2030, the story said.
Hester Peirce, the only Republican among the four SEC commissioners, voted against the proposal.
“We cannot make such fundamental changes without harming” companies, investors and the SEC,” she said. “The results won’t be reliable, let alone comparable.”
‘Big Business’ viewed as enemy of planet
Dating back to the 1960s, the environmental movement has viewed private corporations as greedy, pollution-spewing enemies of the planet. That view of Big Business has only worsened in recent decades when activists embraced the apocalyptic-like view the planet is warming from gasoline and diesel, and now mankind is doomed if we fail to abandon fossil fuels and embrace “renewable energy” for electricity and automobiles.
According to the AP story, private businesses would be required to document greenhouse gas emissions that are produced – even indirectly – by their operation. The rule also demands documentation related to company transportation, such as the vehicles used to haul their products, and even employee business travel must be accounted for.
The same AP story says climate activists have “clamored” for mandatory disclosures from companies because they estimate excluding a company’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions leaves out 75% of those emission statistics.
Morano predicts the SEC will do more than just collect the information: Companies that fail to live up to environmentalists’ demands, he says, will be harassed for failing to do their part.
“It’s a way for climate activists to literally get their claws into every aspect of a business now because these disclosures are going to be used against them,” he tells AFN. “Everything they can and do report will be used against them by climate activists and the Biden administration bureaucrats.”
CEI’s Richard Morrison’s discussion points on the SEC climate finance rule
I’ve written up a short outline of discussion points relating to the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule for people interesting in writing comment letters. It’s boiled down to just five points, so it omits plenty of good arguments that will likely find their way into longer comment letters. But it’s a place to start for people who want to weigh in on first principles without a huge amount of original research. It also includes suggested documents and studies to cite. Feel free to circulate to interested parties.
- The Commission Lacks the Statutory Authority to Enact This Rule
Requiring Disclosures That Are Subjective and Disparaging Is Unconstitutional
The Proposed Disclosures Are Climate Policy Masquerading as Materiality
The Rule Does Not Pass Any Reasonable Cost-Benefit Test
Estimates of Climate Change Risks, Both Physical and Political, are Wildly Exaggerated