The Biden Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed requiring publicly traded companies to not only calculate and report their own greenhouse gas emissions but those of their suppliers, customers, and logistics operators.
The proposal could conceivably cover almost every company in America—even those that aren’t publicly traded and don’t fall under the SEC’s purview—adding enormous compliance costs and legal fees to their bottom lines.
In anticipation of the new 506-page rule, proposed by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, accounting firms have been hiring thousands of new employees to prepare for the coming onslaught of climate change financial paperwork by public companies.
The proposed rule will be open for public comments until May 20 before it can be adopted, and SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce provided powerful testimony against the proposal in a statement titled “We are Not the Securities and Environment Commission—At Least Not Yet.” Peirce was outvoted 3-1 by the other commissioners on moving the rule forward.
Three unelected government bureaucrats at the SEC who voted in favor of the proposal would be wielding ludicrous power over almost every business in America—the kind directly contrary to what the Founders intended when they penned the U.S. Constitution.
The left has a tactic it uses that is disingenuous and harmful to America. It presents an argument that is on its face ridiculous in the hopes that time and effort will be expended debating the merits of what the left refuses to admit is preposterous. It is a smoke screen of sorts to prevent more honest debate that could take place.
The result is confusion, and that confusion is meant to create the perceived need for so-called experts who can then be brought to the forefront to resolve the confusion the left has manufactured. This way, the debate “must” be left to unelected judges or experts who can decide things based on leftist ideology—and commonsense can be overridden.
Here are a few examples of patently absurd arguments that the left says only experts can answer:
- Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked whether Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson could define the word “woman.” Jackson responded to Blackburn: “I can’t … I’m not a biologist.”
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki says we don’t know if someone who is 79 years old and gets COVID-19 is in more danger than someone in their 20s who contracts it.
- And now, Gensler’s SEC has put forth 506 pages of proposed regulations requiring all public companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and—except in the cases of smaller reporting companies—“the actions of the company’s suppliers and consumers,” and their greenhouse gas emissions. If the SEC doesn’t agree with their assessments, they will pay added compliance costs and legal fees. The rule also demands that they disclose all climate risks they might face. This will require the hiring of more accountants and climate change professionals to deal with the added stipulations, creating massive added expenses that only larger companies will be able to afford.
See a pattern here? The point is to make it clear that nobody knows anything. We are all as confused about everything as possible, until some anointed expert is roundly elevated by the mainstream media and the left as the one who has the true credentials to make the truth known.
It is a very dishonest and disingenuous tactic. They put reasonable people on the defensive and make it appear that things that are already known have to be proven so that real debate concerning legitimate arguments cannot take place.
It is an attempt to obfuscate the facts and reality and cause Americans to be unsure about things so they are more likely to think experts are more qualified to determine if a person is a woman, or so they think they are unqualified to say that COVID-19 is more dangerous to elderly people than the young, and so on.
Experts are made to appear needed for the most basic questions, because the left hopes it can convince the American people that experts should decide everything and that most people should not try to figure things out or think for themselves, as if we are too unqualified to have ideas.
In the case of Gensler and his SEC, the commission has always required that public companies disclose risks and uncertainties about their structure, operations, and futures. The 506-page rule is a power grab to give people like BlackRock’s Larry Fink and other so-called environmental, social, and governance enthusiasts even more misbegotten control over companies than they already have. It gives climate change zealots a new tool with which to bludgeon companies if they don’t defer to the climate change lobbyists’ points of view.
Fink, for example, already uses BlackRock’s large holdings of passive investments held for index fund investors in publicly traded companies to force those companies into supporting his left-wing agenda. All told, those companies are currently worth about 28% of America’s gross domestic product, which shows the kind of massive influence leftist ideologues already hold over American businesses and the economy.
Not everyone agrees with Gensler and Fink about climate change risks. Gensler’s new proposed rules require every public company in America to agree with left-wing advocates about the threats carbon dioxide emissions and climate change pose and then prioritize those ephemeral risks over the real harm done to people if they can’t afford to heat their homes because these advocates have driven up the price of fuel.
They require companies prioritize those ephemeral risks over the real harm done to people if they can’t drive their cars to work because gasoline prices are sky-high because oil drilling has been banned and so-called environmentalists have succeeded in shutting down pipelines carrying oil. They don’t seem to care if regulatory compliance costs and high diesel prices make transporting goods more expensive; contribute to inflation; or make families poorer, affecting their health, nutrition, happiness, and well-being.
People like Gensler and Fink are highly intelligent and well educated. The fronts they put up as the champions of small investors, or of the “little guy,” or of supposed low-income victims of climate change are not real. Don’t believe the hype.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal