DENVER -- Today, Western Energy Alliance and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association (USOGA) call on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to rescind its proposed climate change disclosure rule in light of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. The proposed rule runs afoul of the major questions doctrine by assuming climate change regulatory and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting authority for SEC. If even EPA doesn’t have such authority in the absence of a congressional mandate, then certainly a financial regulator cannot act like an environmental regulatory agency by requiring GHG emissions reporting and reductions.
“SCOTUS spoke clearly yesterday: an agency cannot conjure up regulatory authority without a basis in law. It’s really that simple,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “SEC is not an environmental regulatory agency. It cannot be a driver of climate change policy to force a societal transition away from oil and natural gas. It cannot impose a rule that requires companies to reduce their GHG emissions. Congress has passed no law generally for the country requiring a transition away from fossil fuels and certainly not one that enables SEC to use the financial markets to do so. We call on the SEC to cease and desist on the climate change disclosure rule or we’ll see you in court.”
“The Supreme Court fired a clean shot right across the bow of the SEC and the Commission should get the message loud and clear,” said Tim Stewart, president of USOGA. “If EPA doesn’t have the statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, the SEC certainly lacks the authority to regulate greenhouse gases related to financial disclosures. The SEC should just rescind the proposed rule now and put an end to the colossal waste of time and resources that will be spent fighting a rule that will not withstand the scrutiny of the court.”
In a public comment letter to SEC last month, the two trade associations detailed the agency’s lack of statutory authority, expansion of mission from protecting investors to regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and intent to increase the cost of energy.
# # #