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Two dozen AGs challenge SEC climate rule

The rule would require corporations to report their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Published: June 15, 2022 4:32pm

Updated: June 15, 2022 5:35pm

Two dozen state attorneys general wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission secretary demanding that the financial agency not finalize a Biden rule taking a "maximally aggressive regulatory approach" by forcing public companies to publish extensive climate-related disclosures. 

"Regulatory agencies of the federal government must never become political action committees," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is co-leading the effort with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The rule would require corporations to report their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and their climate risks, including those related to natural disasters such as storms.

"The proposed SEC rule that would expand climate change disclosures is unnecessary for the protection of investors or financial markets, and thus beyond the scope of the agency’s intended mission and authority," he wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

The nearly 500-page proposed SEC rule comes after President Joe Biden told all federal agencies to advance his climate-related initiatives. 

Other state attorneys general who signed onto the 42-page letter to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman include those from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

"For many independent reasons, the Proposed Rule is legally indefensible," the 24 attorneys general wrote, asserting that the SEC does not have the authority to adopt the rule. 

They also said the proposal would violate the First Amendment and that it is "arbitrary and capricious."

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