Among many energy groups that oppose the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate disclosure rule is the Western Energy Alliance. The Western Energy Alliance represents more than 200 companies whose goal is to engage in oil and gas exploration and production in an environmentally sound way. They voiced their concerns in a 55-page long comment letter which explains the problems with the rule in detail.
They make a unique argument. They believe the SEC has been hijacked by some environmental activists, and that these groups are driving the SEC’s agenda. They also point out that the proposed rule advances Europe’s climate agenda more than the US’s and appears to be intertwined with European environmental initiatives.
There are various initiatives started by and repeatedly cited by the SEC that are seemingly pushing the climate disclosure rule. They list seven main initiatives:
- Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC)
- Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
- Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
- Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)
- UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP)
- UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
Of the non-profit organizations that support these seven initiatives, only 1,124 out of 5,800 – 19 percent – are American. This means more than half of them are European. The comment letter states: “Foreign companies do not set United States policy. SEC is skating on very thin ice when it uses foreign companies organized into initiatives by seven climate change activist organizations to justify a regulation that would impose a $10.235 billion cost on American society.”
While these activist groups and initiatives push a very climate change-driven agenda, polling of the American people show they do not reflect what U.S. Citizens believe. In fact, a recent NBC poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategy shows that voters “prioritize increasing American oil and natural gas production over fighting climate change.” The letter stresses the need for the SEC to focus on what is best for our own country, and what our citizens prioritize when it comes to investments and conducting businesses.
To read the full comment letter, click here.