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SEC Proposal Won’t Protect Investors or Improve the Environment, But Will Create Massive Confusion and Mountains of Red Tape

Jun 17, 2022 by AFP

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists across the country, today submitted comments strongly opposing a proposal from the Biden administration that would require public companies to include vague and counterproductive “climate-related” information as part of disclosures to prospective investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) draft rule would impose a bevy of costly new filings on topics such as “climate-related risks,” and “the impact of…severe-weather events and other natural conditions” – all of highly questionable relevance to the purpose of financial disclosures and virtually impossible to predict with any accuracy.

An AFP letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler criticized the proposal as a flagrant overreach of the SEC’s statutory authority that would create a huge burden on both businesses and investors – all for seemingly obvious political motivations.

“This exercise in regulatory authority is not intended to inform investors about financial or regulatory risks,” the letter reads, “but rather seeks to facilitate the application of political pressure for the purpose of picking winners and losers in the marketplace…based on their adherence to the current Administration’s policy agenda.”

The letter ticks off a host of flaws with the SEC rulemaking, including:

  • Coercing adherence to the Biden administration’s climate ideals lies well beyond the SEC’s authority and mission;
  • The agency’s lack of scientific expertise is a “complete and utter mismatch” with the goal of the climate proposal;
  • The “compelled speech” aspect of the rule appears to run afoul of the First Amendment;
  • The SEC has prescribed a totally inadequate comment period, “underscoring the illegitimacy of the proposed rules”; and
  • Last, but certainly not least: the aforementioned adverse impact on businesses and investors.

“Time and again we see this administration profess its desire to fix this economy, and then concoct policies that would make things much worse,” said AFP senior policy analyst Gary Haglund. “Anyone in a freshman economics class can tell you that raising the price of doing business and slamming the brakes on investment and innovation just pour more fuel on out-of-control inflation.”

“Working households are going to continue to pay the price for these ill-conceived policies that will raise costs at arguably the worst time in recent history. This is nothing more than a political power grab being sold on empty promises. These actions won’t protect investors or improve the environment, but they will increase costs for consumers, create mountains of red tape for businesses, discourage investment and innovation, and create massive confusion for investors and companies alike.”