Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., today said widespread uncertainties over climate science, legislation and international negotiations should prompt reconsideration of a proposed federal regulation that compels corporations to disclose the financial impact of climate change on their operations.
In a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, Sensenbrenner said a recent proposal to encourage financial disclosures on climate change issues only added more uncertainty to already questionable climate policy. Possible disclosure requirements include pending climate legislation, international accords and the physical impacts of climate change, said Sensenbrenner, who noted that all of these issues were highly uncertain. The letter said the SEC should reconsider its ruling.
“The only purpose behind this bizarre regulation is to spur global warming hysteria and alarmism,” said Sensenbrenner, ranking member on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “With pervasive uncertainties about climate science, climate legislation and international climate negotiations, the only thing that is clear about this proposed rule is that it will be just another bureaucratic headache created for businesses by Washington.”
The letter said the credibility of much of the climate science was damaged by the recent Climategate scandal that unearthed efforts by leading climate scientists to destroy data, distort research and prevent publication of dissenting viewpoints. Additionally, both climate legislation and a climate accord are in a state of flux, Sensenbrenner said.
“The only certainty to date is uncertainty,” Sensenbrenner wrote in the letter. “Businesses should, of course, disclose material impacts on their bottom line, but singling out climate change and pressuring businesses to discuss even potential impacts seems to serve no purpose other than to increase global warming hysteria.”