SEC Commissioner and Key Senators Support Further Analysis of Climate Disclosure Proposal

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters in Washington, DC

One of the commissioners from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and two U.S. Senators suggested this week that further analysis may be needed for a highly anticipated SEC rule on climate reporting, which includes a proposal for sweeping disclosures on Scope 3 GHG emissions. (Bloomberg Law, Nov. 7 | SEC headquarters in Washington, DC, above)

Stakeholder Comments

  • Given that the SEC has received more than 16,000 stakeholder comments on the proposal, Republican SEC Commissioner Mark Uyeda said, “Before the Commission adopts any final rule that significantly deviates from the proposal, it should seriously consider re-proposing the rule with revised rule text and an updated economic analysis.” (Ayuda’s comments, Nov. 7 and The Hill, April 6)
  • SEC Chair Chair Gary Gensler indicated in March that the agency’s climate-related reporting rule may be scaled back. (CNBC, March 7 and Roundtable Weekly, March 10)

Senators Support Additional Feedback

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), left 
Member, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
and Roundtable Board Member Geordy Johnson (CEO, The Johnson Group)
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), left, and Roundtable Board Member Geordy Johnson (CEO, The Johnson Group) at The Roundtable’s 2023 Annual Meeting in June.
  • Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) also expressed support this week for obtaining additional feedback about the SEC’s proposed rule. Sen. Manchin chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Sen. Hagerty serves on the Senate Banking Committee. (Hagerty-Manchin letter and PoliticoPro, Nov. 9)
  • The lawmakers wrote to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler about recent California state laws that require companies to disclose their emissions, which beat the SEC to the punch on releasing final climate reporting rules. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 22 and The Real Estate Roundtable’s summary of the California legislation.)
  • The Senators’ letter states, “The interconnectedness of the California requirements and the SEC’s proposal is undeniable: thousands of businesses would end up being subject to both the California requirements and the SEC’s rule, if finalized. However, key differences between the two raise significant compliance questions that the SEC should thoroughly review.”

Roundtable Comments on Scope 3

Philadelphia center city
  • Scope 3 refers to indirect emissions that are part of an organization’s value chain but not owned or controlled by the reporting company. The 2022 SEC proposal would require corporate issuers of securities to estimate and report Scope 3 emissions “if material” in 10-Ks and other filings. (SEC News Release, March 22, 2022)
  • Roundtable comments submitted in June 2022 emphasized that the SEC’s proposed directive, which would mandate that companies report on Scope 3 emissions “only if material,” is a “back-door mandate” that should be dropped. The comment letter added, “No registrant should be effectively required to report on indirect emissions beyond its organizational or operational boundaries.” (Roundtable Weekly, June 10, 2022),

The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) plans to respond to any further developments on the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule or other climate-related regulatory proposals affecting CRE.

#  #  #

Roundtable Urges SEC to Exempt Real Estate from Proposed Safeguarding Advisory Client Rule

Securities and Exchange Commission building

The Real Estate Roundtable urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week to exempt real estate from a proposed Safeguarding Advisory Client Rule that could severely limit advisory clients’ ability to invest by fundamentally changing the ownership and transfer rights of real estate. The proposed rule currently includes a conditional exception for real estate assets, which would impose a new layer of unclear and unnecessary oversight—and inject significant confusion into well-established transaction protections, rules, and procedures governing real estate transactions. (Roundtable letter, Oct. 30 and SEC Proposed Rule)

The “Proposing Release”

  • The Oct. 30 letter from Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer reiterated current legal protections that promote the safe-keeping of real estate assets held in advisory accounts or funds. DeBoer urged the SEC “… in the strongest possible terms to exclude real estate from the scope of any final [Safeguarding] rule,” citing the ample set of existing protections that prevent real estate assets from fraudulent transfer.
  • The letter also emphasized that the SEC has not coherently explained how the Proposed Safeguarding Rule would apply to real estate.
  • Current law (the “Custody Rule”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 requires an investment adviser to maintain clients’ funds and securities with a qualified custodian. The new proposed SEC rule would expand this requirement to maintain all advisory client assets with a qualified custodian.
  • Since it is not possible to maintain real estate and certain other physical investments with a qualified custodian, the proposal includes a conditional exception that includes the following language:

“In the real estate context, a deed or similar indicia of ownership that could be used to transfer beneficial ownership of a property would not qualify for the exception, but the physical buildings or land would qualify.”

  • The Roundtable’s letter challenges this “Proposing Release” as confusing, impractical, and unworkable for holding and transferring real estate deeds. It also conflicts with current state and country chain of custody legal requirements that govern real estate transactions.
  • The letter also notes the SEC could chose to make the conditional exemption available to real property, because a physical asset cannot be maintained with a qualified custodian. Additionally, the requirement to maintain custody of deeds with a qualified custodian—compared to recording the interest with a governmental authority—serves no regulatory purpose.

Existing Layers of Safeguards

SEC logo and text
  • Other existing safeguards come into play. State laws currently require signature verifications, notarizations, and accompanying IDs that provide significant hurdles to an attempted fraudulent transfer.
  • Modern real estate transactions in the United States also require buyers and lenders to obtain title insurance, which involves a title insurance company to engage in substantial due diligence of the chain of ownership. Real estate lawyers representing the buyer and/or seller represent yet another intermediary, since they are often involved in these asset transactions to provide yet another source of gatekeeper protections.
  • The Roundtable letter states the SEC must explain how it would be possible to maintain title or deed with a qualified custodian since the “Proposed Rule would fundamentally change the ownership and transfer rights of real estate.” The letter states the SEC should avoid any final rule that would limit clients’ access to, or unduly burden, investment in the real estate asset class.
  • The Proposing Release also contains no evaluation of any risk of loss for real estate assets—it only asserts such risk as a theoretical matter.
  • The Roundtable and a diverse group of 25 trade associations previously wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler to oppose the Safeguarding Advisory Client Rule proposal and explain the negative impacts it would have on investors, market participants, and the financial markets. This week’s letter from The Roundtable focused exclusively on the proposal’s impact on real estate assets. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 15)

The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) Custody Rule Working Group developed this week’s comments and met today with the SEC’s Division of Investment Management about the proposal. RECPAC is scheduled to meet Nov. 8 in New York City.

#  #  #

California Passes Corporate Climate Disclosure Package; Biden Administration Releases Net-Zero Emissions Principles for Financial Institutions

Recent government actions amplify the increasing focus by policymakers on climate laws and guidelines—and their heightened impact on CRE. The California legislature recently passed first-of-its-kind state laws that require companies to disclose their emissions, beating to the punch anticipated federal climate reporting rules from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (Politico, Sept. 17)

Meanwhile, the Biden administration issued voluntary principles this week for asset managers, banks, insurers, and venture capital companies with goals for “net zero” emissions investments, including real estate. (Treasury news release, Sept. 19)

California’s Climate Risk Disclosure Package

  • California’s legislature passed two bills (SB 253 and SB 261) last week requiring climate-related disclosures from certain companies doing business in the state. Most notably, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253) would require entities with total annual global revenues greater than $1 billion to quantify and publicly report Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions.
  • SB 253 is estimated to regulate around 5,400 companies. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pledged to sign both bills, although he may request changes when the legislature reconvenes in January. The laws could be challenged in court before they take effect over the next several years. (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 20 and New York Times, Sept 17)
  • The California legislature “leapfrog[ged]” the U.S. SEC (Bloomberg, Sept. 12), which has yet to release highly anticipated federal rules that are expected to require registered companies to report to investors on material climate-related financial risks in 10-Ks and other filings. (See RER’s 2022 comments on SEC proposal | Roundtable Weekly, March 10 and June 10, 2022)

U.S. Treasury’s Net-Zero Emissions Investment PrinciplesU.S. Treasury’s Net-Zero Emissions Investment Principles -- publication imageThe Treasury Department’s Principles for Net-Zero Financing & Investment is focused on “financial institutions’ scope 3 financed and facilitated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.” It urges private sector financial institutions to align their GHG reduction efforts and net-zero goals with their “portfolio companies,” “portfolio of assets,” and “client base.”

  • The document notes that clients and portfolio companies should provide to their financial institutions their own net-zero plans, including “metrics and targets” for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Buildings and real estate assets have long been considered part of a financial institution’s Scope 3 emissions “value chain.” 
  • The set of nine principles encourage greater adoption of emerging best practices for private sector financial institutions that have made net-zero commitments, while promoting consistent and credible implementation approaches.

A Sept. 12 podcast featuring Roundtable Senior Vice President & Counsel Duane Desiderio, and Nareit’s Senior Vice President of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Jessica Long, discusses the imminent SEC rule and other real estate policy priorities in the energy and climate arena. (Listen to Nareit’s “Real Estate Roundtable says CRE Playing Key Role in Success of Federal Climate Programs”)

#  #  #

SEC Issues Final Cybersecurity Disclosure Rules for Public Companies

SEC Cyber Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized new rules last week by a vote of 3-2 that will require public companies to disclose more information about cybersecurity-related incidents, risk management, strategy, and governance. A joint comment letter by The Real Estate Roundtable and Nareit about the SEC proposal was cited nearly a dozen times in the final rule. (SEC fact sheet | Roundtable-Nareit comment letter, May 9, 2022)

Industry Objections

  • The Roundtable and Nareit expressed a number of concerns in their May 2022 letter about the proposed rule’s rigid incident reporting deadlines and granular requirements, which the industry organizations stated may unintentionally exacerbate cybersecurity risks for issuers while imposing unjustified burdens. (Roundtable Weekly, May 13, 2022)
  • Under the new rules, registered companies must report cyber-attacks by filing an 8-K form with the SEC within four business days, which The Roundtable and Nareit objected to in their joint letter.
  • Responding to these concerns, the SEC stated in its final rule that it is “… providing for a delay for disclosures that would pose a substantial risk to national security or public safety, contingent on a written notification by the Attorney General, who may take into consideration other Federal or other law enforcement agencies’ finding.” (Pensions and Investments, July 26)
  • The SEC also responded to industry concerns by stating it had “streamlined” its requirements on cyber-attack disclosures to focus more on the potential effects, rather than the details of the incident itself. (Wall Street Journal, July 26 | PillsburyLaw and GreenbergTaurig)
  • The agency states in its final rule, “To that end, to balance investors’ needs with the concerns raised by commenters …The final rules will require the registrant to describe the material aspects of the nature, scope, and timing of the incident, and the material impact or reasonably likely material impact on the registrant, including its financial condition and results of operations.”
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler emphasized that the final rule does not require disclosure of non-material information related to incidents—unlike the original proposal issued in March 2022. (SEC news release, July 26, 2023 and Roundtable Weekly, March 18, 2022)

New Disclosures Required

Federal Register
  • Public real estate companies will also be required to disclose the board of directors’ oversight of cybersecurity threats, identify any board committee (or subcommittee) responsible for cybersecurity oversight, and the processes by which the board or (sub) committee is informed about these risks.
  • The final SEC rule will become effective on September 5, according to a notice today in the Federal Register. All registered public companies, other than smaller reporting companies, must begin complying by Dec. 18, 2023.

The Roundtable’s Homeland Security Task Force will remain engaged with government officials and private sector partners on industry best practices to detect, protect, and respond to a variety of key threats, including cyber-attacks.

#  #  #

Reports Confirm Challenges in Scope 3 Reporting

Houston skyline

Reports released this month show the challenges companies face to quantify indirect “Scope 3” GHG emissions that emanate from an organization’s value chain. These studies support recent remarks from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler that Scope 3 reporting is not “well-developed,” and “adjustments” could be made to the agency’s highly anticipated climate risk reporting rule. (CNBC, March 6 and Roundtable Weekly, March 10)

Reporting Categories

  • A report from environmental disclosure platform CDP examined survey responses from more than 18,700 companies. CDP found that a company’s limited influence over emissions in its supply chain, lack of data, and/or low-quality data are the biggest challenges for Scope 3 disclosures. 
    • CDP’s report noted that only 41% of responding companies reported on at least one of the 15 Scope 3 “indirect” emissions categories. In contrast, 72% of CDP-responding companies reported Scope 1 (“direct”) and/or Scope 2 (“electricity”) emissions. (ESG Today, March 15) 
    • The most commonly reported Scope 3 emission category (42%) reported by all sectors in was emissions from “business travel,” perhaps the easiest category to calculate. (CDP, Scope 3 Categories by all Sectors)

Real Estate & Scope 3

Scope 3 real estate sector percentages
  • A technical note to CDP’s report, above, provides statistics specifically on Scope 3 disclosures from building developers, owners, and REITs. According to CDP:
    • Scope 3 emissions on average contribute over 85% of a commercial real estate company’s entire footprint.
    • Embodied emissions from construction materials (steel, concrete) was the most significant Scope 3 category reported by 156 real estate companies.
    • “Downstream” emissions from tenants was the second most significant category, comprising 27% of total Scope 3 emissions and 25% of total Scope 1+2+3 emissions. 

Executives on Scope 3

Workiva-PwC report cover
  • A separate Workiva/PwC survey, above, on expected SEC disclosure requirements and ESG reporting compiles the responses of 300 executives at U.S.-based public companies.
  • Key findings from the “Change in the Climate” report include:
    • 95% of corporate executives say they are prioritizing ESG reporting more now than before the SEC’s proposed rule.
    • 36% don’t feel their company is staffed appropriately to meet the SEC’s proposed disclosure rule.
    • 60% of respondents said they would need an extra 1-3 years to estimate and report on Scope 3 emissions—after any Scopes 1 and 2 requirements take effect.
    • 61% of respondents believe the SEC rule will cost their companies at least $750K in the first year of compliance. 

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week commented on a proposed House of Representatives energy package (H.R. 1), which focused on measures impacting fossil fuels, as a “non-starter” for congressional negotiations. (Politico, March 15) 

#  #  #

SEC Chair Indicates Possible Scale-Back of “Scope 3” Emissions Reporting

SEC Chair Gary GenslerU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler commented on March 6 that the agency’s forthcoming rule on climate reporting may be scaled-back, including its proposal for sweeping disclosures on Scope 3 GHG emissions, according to CNBC.

Scope 3 Proposal 

  • Scope 3 refers to indirect emissions that are part of an organization’s value chain but not owned or controlled by the reporting company. The 2022 SEC proposal would require corporate issuers of securities to estimate and report Scope 3 emissions “if material” in 10-Ks and other filings. (SEC News Release, March 22, 2022)

  • Roundtable comments submitted last June called the SEC’s proposed treatment of Scope 3 disclosures a “back-door mandate” and urged the agency to drop it. (Roundtable Weekly, June 10, 2022)

  • The SEC’s final rulemaking process is ongoing. Gensler acknowledged that the agency received a record 15,000 public comments and “adjustments” to the proposed rule were likely. (Bloomberg Law, March 6; CNBC, Feb 10)

  • Some stakeholders have signaled potential litigation by questioning whether the SEC has “clear” legal authority to regulate climate matters in light of recent Supreme Court precedent. (SCOTUSblog, June 30, 2022 | Pensions & Investments, March 7, 2023)

  • Gensler told POLITICO this week that any final climate rule must be “durable” and “sustainable.” “It doesn’t protect investors … if we have a rule overturned in court,” he said.

Congress Weighs In 

U.S. Capitol
  • The SEC’s climate rule is the focus of dueling letters by members of Congress. Democrats wrote in a March 5 letter that the agency should not “soften” or “scale back” proposed climate discloures. Reports that the SEC might “curtail” Scope 3 reporting, among other matters, are “deeply concerning,” the Democrats wrote.

  • Republicans wrote to Gensler on Feb 22, stating the proposed rule exceeds the Commission’s authority. The GOP letter states, “Congress created the SEC to carry out the mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation—not to advance progressive climate policies.”

A final rule is anticipated from the SEC this spring. The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) will continue to track any developments on the agency’s proposed rule and other climate-related regulatory proposals affecting CRE.

#  #  #

SEC Plans Increased Scrutiny of Private Funds With CRE Investments

SEC logo - image

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) this week announced its 2023 Examination Priorities, which includes a focus on registered investment advisers (RIAs) who manage “private funds that hold certain hard-to-value investments…with an emphasis on commercial real estate.” (PoliticoPro, Feb. 7)  

Private Fund Adviser Disclosures

  • The SEC reports that more than 5,500 RIAs manage approximately 50,000 private funds with gross assets exceeding $21 trillion. In the past five years, the gross assets of private funds have increased, with retirement funds playing a significant role. The funds are invested through a variety of strategies used by hedge funds, private equity funds, and real estate-related funds, among others. (SEC 2023 Examination Priorities, Feb. 7)
  • The agency recently proposed an expanded set of disclosures by SEC-registered, private fund advisers, which could affect those that manage real estate investments. (SEC Feb. 9, 2022 News Release | Proposed Rule | Fact Sheet)
  • The Real Estate Roundtable submitted comments last April on how the proposed SEC rules would increase compliance costs, decrease returns for all private fund investors and drive smaller fund sponsors away from the market. (Roundtable comments to the SEC, April 25, 2022)
  • The Roundtable letter raises concerns that the SEC proposal, if finalized, could hinder real estate capital formation; harm development and improvement of real properties; and curtail essential economic activity that encourages job creation. (Roundtable Weekly, April 29, 2022)

Credit Rating Risk

SEC screens

  • Last week, the SEC issued a separate report that identified commercial real estate credit ratings as a potential risk for consideration in assessments by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs). (SEC Staff Report, Feb. 2023)
  • According to the agency’s NSRO report, “After being adversely affected by COVID-19, the single borrower CMBS sector experienced an uneven recovery during the first half of 2021 as compared to the first half of 2020, with properties such as lodging and retail lagging. The (SEC) Staff identified potential risks relating to commercial real estate ratings with significant exposure to sectors negatively impacted by COVID-19, and potential non-adherence to methodologies and rating processes.”

The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) will continue to respond to the SEC’s various proposed regulatory initiatives and proposals affecting CRE with its industry and coalition partners. 

#  #  # 

Advisory Panel Endorses SEC Proposed Disclosure Rule

SEC logo - image

A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advisory panel on investor issues this week endorsed the agency’s proposed climate disclosure rule, including a requirement for registered companies to support Scope 3 indirect emissions “if material” to investors. (Bloomberg Law and advisory panel recommendation, Sept. 21)

Scope 3 & CRE

  • The Investor Advisory Committee’s recommendations are not binding, although the SEC could adopt final rules on corporate climate reporting requirements this fall. (BGov, Sept. 21)
  • The Real Estate Roundtable submitted comments on June 10 objecting to the Commission’s Scope 3 approach. The comments noted that real estate companies neither control nor have access to data regarding emissions from third parties in their “value chains.” (Roundtable WeeklyJune 10 and June 24)
  • joint industry letter filed on June 13 from 11 national real estate trade groups also opposed the SEC’s proposed approach, emphasizing that corporate disclosures on indirect Scope 3 emissions should be voluntary.

SEC Authority & EPA Funding

EPA entrance building

  • Litigation is expected to challenge any final Commission regulation—especially in light of a recent Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA that questioned whether the SEC has “clear” authority from Congress to regulate climate matters.
  • House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and other Republican committee members wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler this week to request the SEC provide a list of all pending and upcoming rulemakings with the specific Congressional authority supporting each action. (Policymakers’ letter, Sept. 20)
  • Apart from the SEC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received a modest sum from Congress ($5 million) under the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to help standardize voluntary corporate commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The new EPA funds are not “meant to create a parallel program … in case the SEC rule is scrubbed,” but will rather be used for climate models and software to hold companies “accountable” for the climate commitments they are already making. (BGov, Sept 21)
  • EPA backed the SEC’s climate disclosure proposal in a recent letter— stating the Commission has “broad authority to promulgate disclosure requirements that are ‘necessary or appropriate … for the protection of investors.’”

The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) will remain engaged with policy makers on climate risk disclosure rules that affect commercial real estate.

#  #  #

Senators Challenge SEC Chair on Proposed Climate Rule

SEC Chair Gary Gensler

Senate Banking Committee members challenged Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler, above, during an oversight hearing yesterday about the agency’s proposed climate disclosure rule. (CQ, Sept. 15 and Yahoo Finance, Sept. 16)

SEC Authority Questioned

  • Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA) opened the hearing by stating, “The SEC is wading into controversial public policy debates that are far outside its mission and its expertise.”
  • Toomey pressed Gensler about June Supreme Court ruling that executive branch agencies “cannot use novel interpretations of existing law to pretend they have legal authority to support sweeping policy changes, including on climate change, that Congress never intended.” (Toomey Opening Statement)
  • Toomey asked, “In light of the EPA v. West Virginia case, have you given any consideration to rescinding that rulemaking?” Gensler replied that the Commission is “seriously” considering the high Court ruling and 14,000-plus public comments to assess its legal authorities to ensure that registered companies provide material, decision-useful information about climate risks to investors. (SEC docket with list of organizations and individual comments)
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) explained that the SEC’s proposal would require farms and other small businesses to estimate and disclose carbon emissions because they sell products and services to public companies. Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Steve Daines (R-MT) shared Tester’s concerns (CQ, Sept. 15)

A CRE Priority

SEC logo - image

  • The SEC’s climate proposal, if finalized, would require all SEC registrants to quantify direct GHG emissions (“Scope 1”) and emissions attributable to electricity purchases (“Scope 2”) through annual 10-Ks and additional filings. (SEC News Release | Proposed Rule | Fact Sheet, March 22)
  • The SEC also proposed that a company would need to report on “Scope 3” indirect emissions if they are “material” to investors. In June 10 comments, The Roundtable objected to the Commission’s proposed Scope 3 approach because real estate companies neither control nor have access to data regarding emissions from third parties in their “value chains.” (Roundtable WeeklyJune 10 and June 24)
  • joint letter filed on June 13 from 11 national real estate industry trade groups echoed the issues raised by The Roundtable in its earlier comments.

The SEC is expected to issue a final climate reporting disclosure rule sometime this fall. If the Commission votes to regulate Scope 3 emissions, the recent SCOTUS decision in West Virginia v. EPA is likely to spark litigation, raising questions as to whether the SEC has authority from Congress to regulate climate disclosures and emissions.

#  #  # 

More than 10,000 Stakeholders—Including Members of Congress—Weigh in on SEC Proposed Climate Rule

SEC Climate Disclosure Comments Reference page

Congressional lawmakers recently submitted comments to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its proposed rule that would require all registered companies to disclose material financial risks related to climate change. Overall, the SEC has received about 10,000 responses on the climate reporting proposal. (AP, June 17, Wall Street Journal, June 21 and SEC docket with list of organizations and individual comments

The Real Estate Roundtable submitted its comments to the SEC on June 10. (Roundtable Weekly, June 10

Views from Congress, State AGs 

  • More than 130 House Republicans wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler on June 15, asking him to rescind the climate disclosure proposal. “It is Congress’ job to set our environmental policy, not the job of unelected regulators,” according to the House letter. They have also called for a hearing on the SEC’s proposal. (E&E News, May 10)
  • A nearly equal number of House Democrats countered in their own letter, urging the SEC “to finalize the rule as quickly as possible.”
  • Over in the Senate, Republicans expressed their opposition in an April 5 letter.
  • Meanwhile, various Democratic Senators submitted several separate comments on June 17. One of their letters maintains that the proposal does not go far enough and should include a specific quantitative threshold for mandatory disclosures of Scope 3 emissions.
  • State Attorneys General have similarly expressed dueling opinions. (Democratic State AGs and Republican State AGs 

CRE Response 

SEC screens

The Biden administration is expected to push forward with a final rule that could be issued later this year.

#  #  #