U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), along with all other Republicans on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opposing the agency’s proposal to enact new climate change disclosures for publicly traded companies.

In the letter, addressed to SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Commissioner Allison Herren Lee, Sen. Lummis and her colleagues wrote, “We do not believe that any further securities regulations to specifically address global warming are necessary or appropriate, and will only serve to further discourage firms from becoming publicly traded, thus denying significant investment opportunities to retail investors.”

The letter is a reminder that Congress is responsible for changes to environmental policy. The senators believe existing materiality standards for securities already cover any potential climate change disclosures that may be necessary, and is instead an attempt by climate activists to exert pressure at shareholders’ – and the public’s – expense. This policy would particularly impact states like Wyoming that have large energy industries.

“…[A]ctivists with no fiduciary duty to the company or its shareholders are trying to impose their progressive political views on publicly traded companies, and the country at large, having failed to enact change via the elected government,” the senators wrote. “These activists want to use climate change disclosure regimes to run costly pressure campaigns against firms to the detriment of shareholders.”

On March 15, 2021, then-Acting Chair Lee requested public opinion on whether the SEC’s disclosure rules adequately inform investors about climate change risk. To read the full letter, click here.

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