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Press Release Published: May 4, 2022

Oversight Republicans Slam the Biden Administration’s SEC Rule to Expand Climate Agenda

WASHINGTON — Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Oversight Committee Republicans raised concerns over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose climate information in annual statements and reports. In a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, the Republican lawmakers highlighted how the proposed rule could negatively impact private businesses and Americans’ ability to access affordable goods and services. To understand the Biden Administration’s new attempt to promote its radical climate agenda through regulation, the lawmakers are requesting a briefing and all information from the SEC on the rule’s intent.  

“Committee on Oversight and Reform Republicans are conducting oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recently proposed rule entitled ‘The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors’ (Climate Disclosure Rule or the Rule). The Rule would require publicly traded companies to disclose climate information in registration statements and annual reports. Even more concerning, this Rule could impact companies that are not publicly traded or subject to SEC regulation by requiring them to disclose climate information simply because they conduct business with publicly traded companies. To understand the breadth, impact, and intent of the Rule, we request that the SEC provide information and a briefing. The American people have a right to know what, if any, effect the Rule will have on their ability to access affordable goods and services,” wrote the lawmakers. 

On March 21, 2022, the SEC released its proposed Climate Disclosure Rule, a rule almost 500 pages long that would require publicly traded companies to answer over 700 different inquiries about their greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and the risk to the company from the potential impacts of climate change. This disclosure requirement would implicate private companies and individuals who generally do not fall within the purview of the authorities granted to the SEC by Congress, including private businesses that are not publicly traded.

“This is another example of the Biden Administration’s attempt to extend the reach of the federal government to promote its radical climate agenda without any consideration of the burden(s) on small businesses,” continued the lawmakers. “The Climate Disclosure Rule would represent the largest expansion of SEC authority without a clear legislative mandate from Congress. This extensive and complicated Rule would be an overly broad expansion of the SEC’s authority and contravenes the mission of the agency… The Biden Administration has signaled its intent to utilize every single federal agency to attack traditional energy sources and the related companies in their effort to establish a new market for green technology. From banning federal oil and gas leases to offering loan guarantees on speculative green technologies, this Administration is committed to total war on traditional energy industries, which results in killing American jobs. Moreover, with the out-of-control Biden inflation skyrocketing, the compliance costs for these companies will ultimately result in even higher costs of goods and services for all Americans.”  

Read the letter here.