Proposed SEC rule would cause companies to report climate change data

Republican Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) led 40 members of the House of Representatives to send a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday opposing a proposed rule that would oblige listed companies to detect “climate-related risks.”

The rule, officially called “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors”, was published to the Federal Register on April 11, 2022 and would require companies to report “greenhouse gas emissions” and “climate-related financial measurements” in their audited accounts. Budd argued that the proposed rule would “hijack the true purpose of financial regulation to promote a radical environmental policy agenda …”

The congressman and the US Senate hopeful said in a statement:

… [The proposed rule] represents a blatant over-regulation of unelected bureaucrats instead of the people’s representatives in Congress, and would undermine our ability to produce more energy right here in America. The SEC should immediately end this vague attempt to impose mandates on job creators in the private sector Green New Deal.

Norman added that the rule “is nothing more than climate activism shrouded in additional bureaucracy,” and suggested another strategy:

It’s time for the left to stop trying to shame companies into fighting climate change. I will tell you how we are effectively combating climate change: we are using an energy strategy that is all in all, reducing costs, eliminating dependence on imports from foreign nations and paving the way for the transition to renewable energy. More rules for private citizens and businesses are not, and never will be, the answer.

In the letter to the SEC, lawmakers argued that the rule “would also far exceed the authority that Congress explicitly gave the SEC.”

“The SEC can and should not mandate such public disclosures of information that deviate from the” core purpose of disclosure, [which] is to provide investors with the information they need to make informed investment and voting decisions “which” allow[s] our capital markets to flourish, ”reads the letter. “It is clear, as we have recently seen, that this information would only be used to smear these companies.”

Republicans also argued that the rule would “drastically disrupt the current revelation regime.” Current operations are reportedly intended to show investors how a company is doing, although the new rule would create an environment in which companies are expected to capitulate to the demands of “vocal stakeholders,” according to the letter.

In their letter, lawmakers noted SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce’s comments, adding their own:

SEC Commissioner Peirce stressed that this proposal would instead tell “business leaders how regulators bidding from a range of non-investor stakeholders expect them to run their businesses.” This would force everyday investors to see companies through a toned lens, obscured by the demands of vocal stakeholders “for whom a company’s climate reputation is as important or greater than a company’s financial performance.” Ultimately, the actions of the SEC will act to undermine and shame public companies, not to provide investors with the necessary financial information.

Lawmakers also asked how “in a time of global turmoil, when energy prices are at their highest ten years,” the rule would benefit ordinary Americans.

“Simply wrapping climate activism in financial regulation will only further aggravate our current energy crisis and do nothing to help ordinary Americans heat or cool their homes or lower prices at the gas station. Instead, “they noted,” we need to focus our attention on domestic energy production and get used to energy from hostile nations. “

“Additional ‘climate’ rules will only hinder our ability to achieve this goal. In the light of current global and domestic circumstances, the administration should focus on making the basic necessities of life cheaper, not more.”

Legislators continued:

The SEC has proposed revelations that lie outside its historical area to engage in environmental policy. However, it is the role of Congress – and most importantly, not the role of financial regulators – to define climate-related policies, balance interests and engage with stakeholders to appropriately move us to a more energy-efficient nation. This administration must end its attack on American companies and the rule of law in the name of an immediate and costly transition to a “Green New Deal” agenda.

The proposed rule is open for comment until May 20, 2022, according to the Federal Register.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her further Twitter.

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