PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is co-leading a coalition of 24 states in filing formal comments regarding a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission initiative that would require companies to make policy statements not related to financial performance.
Under this SEC proposed rule, public companies would have to produce exhaustive disclosures concerning greenhouse gases and climate change. The proposal would require companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions they directly or indirectly produce and explain 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.
“Regulatory agencies of the federal government must never become political action committees,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The proposed SEC rule that would expand climate change disclosures is unnecessary for the protection of investors or financial markets, and thus beyond the scope of the agency’s intended mission and authority.”
Many companies already provide climate-risk information voluntarily. New mandatory requirements would impose substantial costs on companies with little real benefit.
Responding to a supposed public demand for information about public companies’ climate measures is not a sufficient government interest to compel speech and is a violation of the First Amendment.
Arizona and West Virginia are joined in the letter by Alabama, Alaska, 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 the letter here.