SEC to demand global-warming risk disclosure from public corporations

posted at 2:10 pm on January 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This Democrat-dominated government certainly has its eyes firmly set on a goal to heavily increase regulation, especially on Wall Street after the financial collapse of 2008.  But how many companies face threats of failure due to anthropogenic global warming?  We’ll soon find out, now that  the SEC has demanded that publicly-traded corporations reveal those risks to stockholders:

A politically divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted on Wednesday to make clear when companies must provide information to investors about the business risks associated with climate change.

The commission, in a 3 to 2 vote, decided to require that companies disclose in their public filings the impact of climate change on their businesses — from new regulations or legislation they may face domestically or abroad to potential changes in economic trends or physical risks to a company.

Chairman Mary L. Schapiro and the two Democrats on the commission supported the new requirements, while the two Republicans vehemently opposed them.

“I can only conclude that the purpose of this release is to place the imprimatur of the commission on the agenda of the social and environmental policy lobby, an agenda that falls outside of our expertise and beyond our fundamental mission of investor protection,” Republican commissioner Kathleen L. Casey said.

Clearly, Casey correctly diagnoses the Democrats’ intentions on this point.  They want to highlight the potential damage that some corporations do through carbon emissions, while highlighting the benefits from others who play along on AGW.  Putting this in the jurisdiction of the SEC is a two-fer for the Obama administration — they can claim regulatory gains on both AGW and Wall Street.

But this may hold the potential for enormous backfire.  With the cap-and-trade legislation still on the docket, all of these corporations will have to forecast for higher energy prices, more restrictive manufacturing and service standards, and the costs of retrofitting.  The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have consistently and drastically underestimated the impact of their bills on the private sector.  Now, by forcing companies to analyze the impact of their environmental agendas on their bottom lines, the American public can get a much clearer and much less optimistic take on cap-and-trade and carbon-tax regulations.  Because those reports will be part of the public record, analysts can compile a daunting picture of the burdens the Democratic agenda will create on private business and economic growth.

This effort still should have been killed as a ridiculous overreach on regulation.  Now that the SEC has forced the matter, their Democratic allies will shortly have reason to regret it.


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It is like dealing with a psychiatric patient suffering from severe delusions. You cannot expect the delusions to lead him back to reality.

snaggletoothie on January 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

There is a great risk that our company will be severely impacted by the cap & tax bill, negatively.

jukin on January 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

1.3 BILLION MO got for high speed rail between Kansas City and Saint Louis. What a fking boondoggle..

It is stunning. It’s not like we have the failed taxpayer-dollar sinkhole, Amtrak as an example to go by…

I was hoping there would be a high-speed rail thread today.

Why are we behind Europe and Japan, Barry?

Gee, I dunno, maybe population density for starters.

Maybe culture, moron. I know you don’t care for America much, champ – but we don’t live in cities the same way they do in Europe. We also love our cars, sport. It’s an American thing.

8 billion (to start with) worth of rails to nowhere.

reaganaut on January 28, 2010 at 3:36 PM

The Democrats are on a mission to implement their scorched-earth policies. They will have their Marxist fantasies implemented, and, but for the mercy and long-suffering of God, we will never recover. We will collapse as a living republic under the weight of their “compassion”.

spmat on January 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM

If I’m reading this correctly, the Donkeys are trying to use the SEC to build an economic case for climate change legislation. The idea being, that Big Widgets will say, “if the earth’s temp increases by 10 deg in the next year, we’ll go broke.” So then the alarmists can add up all the costs of the a 10 deg increase in temp will cause and then say that CO2 will make those bad things happen. It’s the same BS they have been peddling with regards to the costs of all the wars they think we’ll have to fight when the earth gets a fever.

Never mind that CO2 has virtually nothing to do with the earth’s temperature. That is a matter of faith to them, so they just want to tell us all the terrible things that will happen if we don’t hold hands and jump off the cliff with them.

MJBrutus on January 28, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Jebus. Can the banks start disclosing how this Administration’s tax and regulatory policies virtually guarantee they will have zero profits for the next 10 years?

rockmom on January 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Dear SEC:

Due to anticipated levies of $35.00 per ton of CO2 emissions, we anticipate net revenue loss of $105 million in FY11. The tax burden may be reduced somewhat, but sales may also be reduced by an unknown amount, pending taste-test market research on the optimum sales price of headless beer.

Respectfully submitted
The I. LuvBooz Brewing Company

Steve Z on January 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

stupidity

bill30097 on January 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Will publicly traded companies have to certify that no puppehs or kittehs were harmed by their profiteering?

The puppehs and kittehs will collectively increase global temperatures by 0.00000127 degrees and raise sea levels by 0.0000000032 millimeter when they exhale, so they must be euthanized to save the planet.

/sarc

Steve Z on January 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Bypassing Congress once again with commissions, czars and committees. They tried yesterday to farm out the duties of the Ways and Means Committee but fell short. Tell me again why we are paying these tools?

Kissmygrits on January 28, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Well, not exactly. You’ll need to make a disclosure, for instance, if you are reasonably certain that people will stop demanding the products that you sell, or that you’ll need to incur significant costs to change your products, because consumers have or will change their purchasing habits because they believe in climate change.

Jimbo3 on January 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Great, you can be fined if a bureaucrat second-guesses your ability to read the minds of future consumers.

Chris_Balsz on January 28, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Whatever BS they pull it won’t last past November. I’ve never looked more forward to an arse whippin.

orlandocajun on January 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Are companies allowed to use the Hockey Stick method when computing risks??

TN Mom on January 28, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Everytime I see the word “SEC”, I think of college sports…

ladyingray on January 28, 2010 at 4:27 PM

The commission, in a 3 to 2 vote, decided to require that companies disclose in their public filings the impact of climate change on their businesses — from new regulations or legislation they may face domestically or abroad to potential changes in economic trends or physical risks to a company.

How the f**k can any company do that?

docdave on January 28, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Somebody better start saying “Go scruu yourself, or we are moving overseas.”

DrStock on January 28, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Well, not exactly. You’ll need to make a disclosure, for instance, if you are reasonably certain that people will stop demanding the products that you sell, or that you’ll need to incur significant costs to change your products, because consumers have or will change their purchasing habits because they believe in climate change.

Jimbo3 on January 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM
Great, you can be fined if a bureaucrat second-guesses your ability to read the minds of future consumers.

Chris_Balsz on January 28, 2010 at 3:54 PM

–You also add language saying, in effect, that any predictions you’re making about the future are only predictions, and not guarantees and that X, Y, Z and Q can cause your predictions to be wrong. It’s generally not the bureaucrats you need to worry about; it’s the lawyers for the stockholders who try to sue you when your stock price drops.

Jimbo3 on January 28, 2010 at 5:25 PM

The commission, in a 3 to 2 vote, decided to require that companies disclose in their public filings the impact of climate change on their businesses — from new regulations or legislation they may face domestically or abroad to potential changes in economic trends or physical risks to a company.

How … can any company do that?

docdave on January 28, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Well, they will need to hire a lot of that same ‘crack team of climate experts’ that made up the entire global warming fraud in the first place!

This is yet another leg in the handing of cash to corrupt alledged scientists that promote causes for their PERSONAL profit!

Freddy on January 28, 2010 at 5:26 PM

We are all Socialists, weathermen and psychics now.

Buy Danish on January 28, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I think that risk disclosures require that all known facts be disclosed. So there will be a lot of corporations having to stipulate plans for both “if global warming is true” and “if global warming is false”.

HotWeaver on January 28, 2010 at 6:50 PM

1.3 BILLION MO got for high speed rail between Kansas City and Saint Louis. What a fking boondoggle..

Hey I can’t wait to see the cost overruns.

Here in MN they are going to build a light rail that goes 11 miles and will cost $1 billion. That’s about $100 million mile.

Dasher on January 29, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Comment pages: 1 2