GOP AGs Hit Biden With Lawsuit Over SEC’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Climate Rule


A coalition of red states announced Wednesday that they are challenging the Biden administration over its fresh corporate emissions and climate disclosure rule, just hours after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlit the measure.

The SEC moved Wednesday to finalize new rules legally requiring certain public companies to report climate-related risks to their businesses and disclose data on the greenhouse gas emissions that their business operations directly generate. [emphasis, links added]

A group of ten Republican state attorneys general are suing the Biden administration over the rule, arguing that it is an unconstitutional attempt to impose climate regulation through the back door using an agency that does not have much to do with climate-related rulemaking.

The challenge was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and is being co-led by Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey.

The attorneys general for Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Virginia are also involved in the suit.

“While the administration and the SEC have made some changes to the proposed rule, what they have released today is still wildly in defect and illegal and unconstitutional, and that’s why we are taking the action that we are taking today,” Morrissey said during remarks announcing the suit.

“We believe that we are going to proceed in court and prevail. Today, the Biden administration has once again gone on the attack against America’s energy industry. It actually may be one of their most egregious attempts yet, but this time, they’re not using the [Environmental Protection Agency] as their tool of choice.”

The final rule approved Wednesday is a weakened version of the SEC’s March 2022 proposal.

Nevertheless, many opponents contend that it is still illegal, needlessly onerous, or both, while some critics from the Left have criticized the SEC for dropping some of the most aggressive provisions included in the proposal.

The final rule mandates medium-sized and large companies to report emissions attributable to the electricity they use to power their business operations starting in fiscal years 2026 and 2028, respectively.

The regulation will also require all public corporations to disclose climate-related risks to their business, just as they are required to disclose other material risks.

Top photograph by Don Ramey Logan, US Security and Exchange Commission Office photo Don Ramey Logan, clipping by CCD Ed, CC BY 4.0

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