Arizona Joins Coalition Fighting Against Climate Change Disclosures In SEC Filings

By B. Hamilton

Arizona has joined a 16-state coalition pushing back against a Biden Administration initiative that would require companies to make policy statements unrelated to financial performance to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Arizona joins the West Virginia-led fight against what is seen as an attack on the freedom of speech.

The attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming join in arguing that the initiative would require companies to make policy statements not related to financial performance to serves a political agenda.

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.”

The attorneys general contend that to pass constitutional muster, “speech regulation must advance a constitutionally sufficient government interest, must be adequately related to advancing that end and may be required to use the least restrictive means,” the comments read.