SEC’s Climate Disclosure Rules Advance Biden’s Epic Whole-Of-Government Regulatory Agenda
“The President will advance his climate agenda using every tool at his disposal and can make significant progress in curbing emissions, growing our economy, and good-paying union jobs. And so he could do that without Congress.” —Principal White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, October 21, 2021
“This is going to be our new normal and the effects that we’re seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation.” —FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on CNN reacting to 2021’s deadly tornadoes
Unique in the Biden administration is not its regulatory activism as such, but the economy-transforming scale of the interventions in which it is willing to engage across numerous economic sectors. All the while, the president jarringly claims to be “a capitalist.”
The latest tip of this regulatory costberg is a climate disclosure rulemaking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued March 21. Reuters calls the proposed climate-risk disclosure rules “landmark;” NPR calls them “historic” while perhaps inadvertently noting their actual status as part of a “global push by regulators” in this era of reset.
The SEC’s move is just one of many prominent elements of Biden’s escalation of the regulatory state, wherein the legislative responsibility of Congress gets sidelined for regulation by a go-it-alone executive and the federal bureaucracies.
Given its sweeping nature, the SEC’s action to require that companies disclose their climate-related risks and confess what they’re doing about them needs to be put in context with the rest of Biden’s escalating “Whole-of-Government” agendas.
“Whole-of-government” is Biden’s phrase, in which formulation “government” refers largely to himself and his executive branch. Biden has instituted, top down, whole-of-goverment campaigns in three primary areas: “equity,” “climate crisis” and “competition.”
These three legs of Biden’s regulatory stool are intertwined, such that even the Office of Management and Budget’s regulatory oversight body has remorselessly thrown its own supervisory role aside to advance regulatory “benefits” as Biden and the progressive political agenda see them.
Whole-of-government agendas do not involve capitalism, obviously, but rather the “regulatory muscle” we’re now seeing from SEC as well as others. These unilateral agendas also rely heavily on exploiting the federal government’s procurement heft in the steering of otherwise free competitive enterprise.
Climate non-alarmists used to be disparaged as incapable of grasping the difference between climate and weather. The shoe is on the other foot with Biden’s launching of no fewer than five separate executive decrees on climate crisis amid a shift in the alarmist language to emphasize “extreme weather” rather than merely climate.
The fusion of politicized climate extremism with numerous regulatory agencies’ pursuits is reaching an apex with Biden’s blending of these with the ambiguities and unattainables of the equity pursuit. The first among equals of Biden’s three-legged whole-of-government agenda, “equity’ is embedded in every single thing his adminstration is doing and precludes limited government in its own right.
On almost equal footing with the equity push and inextricably intertwined with it, the runner-up climate agenda is heavily embedded not just in Biden’s executive actions, but also strategically so in the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan infrastructure package (deemed the largest climate legislation yet to be enacted). The climate agenda also stars in what is now being called the “Bipartisan Innovation Act,” purportedly addressing competition with China but constituting instead heavy government steering and subsidies to replace free enterprise. As the name implies, Republicans are enabling this legislation advancing Biden’s “stool.”
Biden hopes to sweep up the specks of free enterprise remaining via Building a Better America, the catchall for what used to be called the Build Back Better agenda
Rooted in hobbling domestic fossil energy development rather than the promotion of high-BTU energy abundance and resilience, Biden’s whole-of-government climate crisis campaign has been embraced by multiple departments and agencies well beyond the SEC, in a lockstep obedience to the gods of energy poverty that now comprises an industry unto itself.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, for one, proclaims in its new “strategic plan” that “FEMA will take a people first approach to increase climate literacy, develop tools, and allocate resources informed by future risk estimates to target investments to create a more equitable and resilient nation.”
These “investments” involve assorted unspecified but bottomless climate and emergency “adaptation” pursuits.
As overseers like FEMA always remind us, “much remains to be done.” That “much” involves the fusion of the other top-down “whole-of-government” campaigns. FEMA asserts that “Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of disasters. Meanwhile, structural inequities in our society compound the impacts of disasters for historically underserved communities. Left unaddressed, these challenges pose unacceptable risks to the nation—and to us as emergency managers.”
The FEMA report and its wokeness must be seen to be believed. Meanwhile, and hand in hand with the relentless pursuit of carbon-dioxide neutrality, the administration even calls for a “Civilian Climate Corps” with big plans to:
“…mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs. The initiative shall aim to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate.”
That the very act of being anti-fossil-energy is to be is anti-equity and anti- environmental justice has never registered with ideologues populating key departments and agencies. Or perhaps it has.
Read the full article at Forbes.