Even small businesses that work with big companies will be forced to comply with these onerous regulations.
According to a description from Harvard Law School, the SEC wants publicly traded companies to list in their annual reports, “Climate-Related Disclosure,” including “climate-related governance, risk, business impacts, targets and goals.”
Businesses would be also required to have their greenhouse gas emissions and other potential environmental impacts verified by an “independent GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions expert.”
Under these absurd new rules, companies that burn fuel in boilers, use furnaces and air conditioning, produce or distribute products, generate or use electricity, or use company vehicles, would be required to report their environmental impact.
This structure will create an interlocking emissions reporting scheme that is inescapable, with the possible exception of the smallest businesses that neither buy from nor sell to any large company.
These reporting requirements would likely require businesses to hire climate consultants and climate accountants, which will add billions to the cost of everything we buy or use and could bankrupt a significant number of small businesses operating on thin margins.
In addition, the information in these climate reports, which require sign-off by upper company management, will become a target-rich environment for lawsuits, which would also add billions in new costs to everything American consumers use.
Instead of having businesses focused on providing quality goods and services to customers and increasing shareholder value through profits, Joe Biden’s SEC wants businesses to concentrate on complying with unpredictable GHG reporting standards and constricting energy use.
Their bottom lines will suffer and so will your 401k.
Truth in Energy and Climate staunchly opposes these new reporting rules for several reasons. First, the SEC lacks the legal authority to enact these onerous climate reporting rules and these regulations will almost certainly add to record inflation rates. The regulations will disproportionately harm small businesses in an economically uncertain time.
Further, government estimates of climate change risks, both physical and political, are often wildly exaggerated. So how are American businesses going to comply with ever-fluctuating emissions standards?
Biden’s priorities are clear, and his energy policies will stifle any hope of economic recovery or growth by mobilizing the entire federal government in a crusade against carbon emissions.
Constricting companies that use or produce energy is a major contributor to inflation. Eighty percent of our energy comes with greenhouse gas emissions. Even making wind towers, solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries, and our electric grids releases significant GHGs.
In addition, we are not installing wind towers, solar panels, and batteries fast enough to provide nearly enough replacement energy. We would need to increase our annual installation of wind turbines and solar panels by a factor of 10 or 20. If we do not, we will suffer significant energy shortages, blackouts will become a regularity, and consumers will be forced to pay even higher prices for gas and electricity.
Can America go from the annual installation of 3,000 wind turbines nationally to 30,000 or 60,000? Can America increase solar panel installation to hundreds of square miles annually? Simply stated, no.
There is not enough mining and processing capacity of the rare earth metals needed for these energy sources or the required manufacturing facilities to make such an energy transition anytime soon.
And keep in mind, most of the metals and manufacturing facilities required for alternative fuel production are produced and controlled by our increasingly belligerent rival, Communist China.
Judging by Mr. Biden’s actions to punish or vilify oil and natural companies and the inevitable electricity shortages this summer — caused by closing coal plants — it is very likely that Biden’s SEC will adopt these rules.
Hopefully, the courts will halt these efforts by ruling the SEC has no authority to engage in energy policy this way. At a time when inflation and consumer prices are at record highs, this is not the time to push energy policies that further strain and punish American businesses and consumers.
Joe Biden’s energy policies will not help fuel American business or spur national economic growth. They will only fuel more inflation.
Frank Lasee is president of Truth in Energy and Climate and a former state senator of Wisconsin.