Climate rule faces delays over allegations that it could leak intel to enemies

By Jean Chemnick | 02/15/2024 06:47 AM EST

Conservative critics say a climate disclosure requirement for defense contractors jeopardizes national security. Supporters of the rule dispute that assertion.

A group of F-16 aircraft are seen during a flyby.

A group of F-16 aircraft are seen during a flyby over Nationals Park stadium in Washington. Andrew Caballero/AFP via Getty Images

Companies that do millions of dollars of business with the federal government may soon have to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) proposal, which is not yet final, is expected to apply to purveyors of nearly everything the government buys, from vaccines to air conditioners to war planes.

But efforts to finalize the rule may be running behind. Observers say a yearlong campaign by lawmakers to weaken it may have procurement officials rethinking key provisions just as the Biden administration is looking to wrap up work on its first-term regulatory agenda to prevent it from being easily rolled back under the Congressional Review Act.
Congressional Review Act


Two main criticisms have been lobbed at the climate disclosure proposal since it was released 15 months ago. One has sparked numerous House hearings and pushback, even from some Democratic lawmakers, and has to do with the draft rule’s reliance on international nonprofit organizations to vet the climate efforts of contractors. The other focuses on the assertion that U.S. adversaries could glean national security-related information from the disclosures of defense contractors.
numerous House hearings
some Democratic lawmakers