Change to SEC climate rule opens door to mischief, experts say

By Avery Ellfeldt | 03/19/2024 06:26 AM EDT

By not requiring companies to report certain emissions, bad actors could outsource some of their business to avoid transparency.

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.).

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, speaks Monday in Tennessee about the Securities and Exchange Commission's new climate rule. House Financial Services Committee/YouTube

Companies could be encouraged to use creative accounting to conceal major chunks of their planet-warming emissions under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new climate rule, one business expert told a congressional committee Monday.

And that’s just one of the potential consequences of the revised regulation, said Alex Scott, an associate professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee.

He testified at a field hearing in Lebanon, Tennessee, held by the House Financial Services Committee, alongside a small farm owner and an official from the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Lawmakers invited them to weigh in on the final rule, which Republicans say would harm Americans by increasing costs on both companies and consumers.


“Investors should know that the SEC’s overreach will significantly hurt our economy while serving as a boon for special interest groups and far left activists,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), one of the rule’s most ardent opponents.