This piece was originally published by The Washington Times on April 24, 2023.
The House Financial Services Committee last week hosted Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler for a 4½-hour oversight hearing. Lawmakers pressed Mr. Gensler on a proposed SEC rule that would require public companies to extensively disclose climate-related “risks” their business activities generated. It would also force them to analyze the climate risks generated by the activities of their suppliers and customers — known as “Scope 3” emissions.
The SEC is a financial regulator limited to a threefold mission: to protect investors, to maintain well-ordered markets, and to facilitate capital flows. It has now allowed itself to become distracted by environmental policy. Its assessment that such climate disclosures would be “material” to investors is dubious and deeply contested, not to mention that such broad Scope 3 emissions are effectively impossible to measure precisely.
The SEC is one of too many Biden administration agencies that have discovered backdoor authority to regulate on matters unrelated to their mission, particularly the environment. Examples of this can be seen in the injections of environmentalism into the Labor Department’s retirement-plan guidelines, the Treasury Department’s investment calculations, and at the Federal Reserve.
The full article can be found online here.