9 more states sue SEC over climate disclosure rule

Nine states this week sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over a rule that requires publicly traded companies to disclose some climate-related information to potential investors.

The lawsuit, led by the state of Iowa, comes after 10 states separately sued the SEC over the rule last week.

The rule in question requires publicly traded companies to reveal risks that climate change may pose to their business. It also requires some large and midsize companies to disclose how much carbon dioxide is emitted by their operations.

Its opponents are arguing that the rule creates unnecessary burdens for businesses and forces them to reveal information that they may need to keep confidential.

“Not only will this mandate impose costly red tape on businesses, but it will devastate our supply chain and hurt Iowa family farms,” said Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird (R) in a written statement.

Her suit was joined by Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, as well as a group called the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce.

The states on the previous lawsuit are West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming and Virginia.

On the other hand, environmental advocates have threatened their own suit over the rule, arguing it does not go far enough, especially after it dropped proposed requirements for some companies to report emissions that come from the use of their products, such as an oil company reporting the emissions caused by the burning of its fuel to power cars.

Asked to comment on the new lawsuits, an SEC spokesperson said the commission “undertakes rulemaking consistent with its authorities and laws governing the administrative process and will vigorously defend the final climate risk disclosure rules in court.”

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