Should the SEC Regulate and Enforce Environmental Impact Reporting?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

H.R. 2570 would give the US Securities and Exchange Commission a legal mandate to enact climate disclosure requirements upon publicly traded companies, and force them to disclose climate-related information to the public on an annual basis. This would include direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and all climate-related risks associated with their operations, encouraging the SEC to take an “all-of-agency approach to climate.” Sponsor: Representative Sean Casten (Democrat, Illinois, District 6) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

• "It is entirely reasonable for a person to feel that climate change deserves immediate attention from lawmakers and still question whether the SEC mandating new disclosures from U.S. public companies is an appropriate step for the agency… If the only people who feel safe to comment are those who want the agency to join the fight against climate change and those whose business models would benefit from new regulation, we will miss hearing from those voices who can alert us to the hidden costs and unintended consequences of our actions." Source: Commissioner Elad L. Roisman (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

• "I think it is way, way out of their lane; it’s the tail wagging the dog.. I think there are other mechanisms to help identify what sort of metrics companies are operating under.. I don’t think the SEC has any business even remotely playing in this area." Source: Representative Garret Graves (Republican, Louisiana, District 6)

Proponents say

• "I introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which directs the SEC to create consistent mandatory climate reporting standards for all public companies. This will allow companies to compete for capital on a level playing field, providing investors with the certainty they need to hedge their financial risk. Yesterday my bill passed committee and will now come to the floor. The right time to safeguard our financial system against climate change was decades ago, but our last chance is now. Source: Representative Sean Casten (Democrat, Illinois, District 6)

• "Climate change is one of the greatest threats we face. Equipping investors with a better understanding of the climate-related risks facing America's public companies will enable smarter and safer investment decisions, provide greater long-term stability to the American economy, and help our nation fight climate change," Source: (Democrat, New Jersey)