CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has again led a coalition of 24 states in filing a supplemental letter regarding a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission initiative that would require companies to make policy statements not related to financial performance.
The supplemental letter follows a formal comments letter filed by the Attorney General and the same coalition in June.
The new missive was sent to the SEC in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, confirming that Congress—not a federal administrative agency—has the power to decide major issues of the day.
Under this SEC proposed rule, public companies would have to produce exhaustive disclosures concerning greenhouse gases and climate change. Among other things, the proposal would require companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions they directly or indirectly produce, and how climate risk affects their businesses. The companies would have to report on their climate risks, as well as risks related to the physical impact of storms, drought and higher temperatures.
The Attorney General said the Supreme Court’s ruling on West Virginia v. EPA “thus confirms that the ‘major questions doctrine’ operates as a ‘distinct’ constraint on agency power.”
“We explained in our earlier comment letter why the Commission’s Proposed Rule offends that doctrine, and West Virginia v. EPA confirms we’re right,” Attorney General Morrisey wrote in the supplemental letter. “Just as the EPA did, the Commission purports to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power…. And after adopting a paternalistic reading of its mandate, the Commission concludes that it can constrain how public companies function simply because influential investors think it’s best to squeeze out disfavored, carbon-based energy sources. If this sort of regulatory overreach does not constitute a sweeping policy judgment on a major question, then we struggle to see what would.”
The 500-plus page proposed rule is called “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.” The comments were sent directly to SEC Secretary Vanessa A. Countryman.
West Virginia was joined in the letter by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Read a copy of the supplemental letter at: https://bit.ly/3z2K7Ra.
Read a copy of the letter the Attorney General sent to the SEC in June at: https://bit.ly/3NU4ZPG.