New SEC climate rules will hurt retail investors the most

When Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump Says He’s Not Interested In Being President If GOP Takes Over House Biden Administration Boosts Support For Antitrust Efforts Energy & Environment – Oil Companies Repel House Speaker MORE was running for president, he promised he would decarbonize the US economy by ending US oil and gas development. So far, U.S. oil production is down under Biden by around 1 million barrels one day – even as the world price of oil nearly doubled to $110 a barrel. It means America is already losing more than $100 million every day to the “green” climate change agenda.

Fortunately, Congress blocked many sweeping Green New Deal legislative proposals. So Biden turned to his super-regulators in the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior to finish the job of dismantling U.S. oil, gas and coal production.

But the latest blow to the front of the oil and gas industry is perhaps the most dangerous of all. Last week, the three Democrats of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), led by President Gary GenslerGary GenslerOn The Money – Feds Propose New Disclosure Rule for Public Companies Energy and Environment – SEC Releases Rule on Climate Risk SEC Proposes Long-Awaited Rules on Corporate Emissions and Climate Risk MOREvoted for compel all listed companies disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, including “indirect emissions”.

Proposalknown as “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors”, has 510 pages.

The SEC’s own estimates indicate that the paperwork burden alone will cost businesses $10.2 billion. But the actual cost could be several times higher than that.

But how are investors protected by these rules, and from whom? Activist hedge funds, university endowments, pension funds and foundations will immediately use this information to intimidate corporations and roll back future fossil fuel investments – the dream of Biden’s economic policy team. Remember, this is from a president who says he’s “doing everything we can to bring gas prices down.”

My group, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, recently sponsored a survey voters who found that twice as many Americans think the government should focus on ensuring affordable energy rather than tackling climate change. Making energy more expensive – as this rule would – reduces shareholder returns.

This rule isn’t just bad news for American fuel security and for motorists who are tired of paying up to $5 a gallon for gas.

The SEC is supposed to be the watchdog to ensure the soundness of our financial system and to protect retail investors and pension funds from fraudsters. The agency didn’t do a very good job of this in the early 2000s during the Enron scandal, or in 2008 when we saw the collapse of mortgage-backed securities – which were supposed to be mortgage bonds. AAA investment. When regulators were asleep at the switch, these overvalued bonds crashed almost overnight, triggering a financial crisis that flattened the entire US economy for several years.

Now, those same financial watchdogs tell us that they are expert climatologists and can assess the risks associated with weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts and tornadoes.

The purpose of the SEC is to protect investors’ lifetime savings. But the estimated $10 billion cost of these new regulations would actually be a tax borne by investors who own shares in these energy companies.

Of course, companies must assess the risks of hurricanes or earthquakes and other acts of nature that can cause catastrophic losses. But our sophisticated financial markets, led by savvy investors, already assess the risks of things like threats of flooding to beachfront properties – and those risks are already capitalized into stock prices and values. Very few smart investors take seriously the doomsday models of climate change that have already been shown to be seriously flawed predictors.

Hester Peirce, Republican SEC Commissioner protests that the agency “lays the first stone of a new [corporate] disclosure framework that will rival our existing framework in scope and cost and likely exceed it in complexity. She further warns that this climate project will distract the SEC from fraud prevention and “facilitate the growth of the climate-industrial complex and foster unfair, disorderly and inefficient markets.”

She’s right. Many players in the trillion-dollar climate change industry will get rich from these policies. But that will come at the expense of the mom-and-pop investors the SEC is supposed to protect.

stephen mooreStephen MooreRepublicans take a shot at Fed nominees Senate antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and hurt our competitiveness Bob Dole: A Great Leader of the ‘Greatest Generation’ MORE is principal investigator at FreedomWorks and served as Senior Economic Advisor to President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump says he’s not interested in being president if GOP takes over House Perdue says he ‘misunderstood’ Trump supporters’ ‘lock him up’ chants about Kemp Jared Kushner who should sit for an interview with the January 6 panel this week: MORE reports. His latest book is “Govzilla: How the relentless growth of government is eating away at our economy and our freedoms. Follow him on Twitter @StephenMoore.

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