U.S. Financial Regulators Require Climate Risk Assessment, as Republicans Fight Back
March 18 , 2021 (EIRNS)—On March 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a call for comment on their intention to require corporations to disclose the “risks” they face from climate change and to detail policies curbing emissions. The Washington Examiner reported: “Investors, including large asset managers such as BlackRock, and environmental groups have strongly called for mandatory disclosures, especially as they say it becomes increasingly clear that climate change poses a serious risk to the financial system.” On March 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the creation of a Climate Risk Unit “to help the agency better understand, price, and address climate-related risks,” according to the Examiner. These steps follow the Federal Reserve’s announcement last year that they had joined the Central Banks’ Network for Greening the Financial System.
This Malthusian insanity has been denounced by Congressional Republicans, calling it “misguided” and a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” in a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signed by all of the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, led by ranking member Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The letter says that such regulations would allow the government to “claim there are financial risks with energy exploration and other disfavored investments, then use the levers of government—via the unelected bureaucracy—to ban or limit those activities.”
They say that climate predictions are “inherently and irreducibly uncertain.”
The Examiner adds that Republican lawmakers are also taking aim at big U.S. banks that decline to invest in fossil fuel projects, such as new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, as they set goals to align their financing activities with the Paris climate agreement. More than half of the Senate’s Republicans introduced a bill earlier this month that would codify a Trump administration effort to keep banks from restricting services to specific industries, including energy producers. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the House companion bill.