FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 15, 2021) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today joined a 16-state coalition in filing comments before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to push back against a Biden Administration initiative requiring companies to make climate change disclosures in SEC filings. The attorneys general argue this new move would require companies to make policy statements not related to financial performance and would threaten freedom of speech.
In comments filed this week to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, the attorneys general expressed concerns that the proposed climate change disclosures are unnecessary from a market protection standpoint, writing that “the Commission has an important and difficult mandate with respect to safeguarding public trading, but it is hard to see how it can legally, constitutionally, and reasonably assume a leading role when it comes to climate change.”
“Requiring publicly traded companies to disclose the Biden Administration’s preferred climate change information will put an unnecessary target on the backs of companies,” said Attorney General Cameron. “This type of government mandate strays from the authority of the SEC and is a classic example of government overreach.”
The attorneys general contend that responding to a supposed public demand for information about public companies’ climate measures is not a sufficient government interest to compel speech and is a violation of the First Amendment.
The coalition also notes that the market is already responding to investors’ interest surrounding climate issues in other forums, writing that “companies are thus already determining what statements serve their customers and investors outside of the sphere the Commission protects—and without government mandates.”
Attorney General Cameron joined the West Virginia-led comments along with the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.
Read the coalition’s comments here.