State AGs Want More Time to Comment on Bank ESG Regulations

Gary Gensler
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler | Bill Clark / AP

(The Center Square) – Eighteen attorneys general are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission for more time to ponder climate change rules affecting financial firms.

The comment period for the two rules expired in the spring. The SEC announced last month that comments on the rules and 10 others might not have been received or documented due to technical errors. The problems seemed to be limited to ones received in August, but the problem could go back to June 2021, the agency said.

The SEC proposed an additional 14-day comment period to give people time to re-submit comments.

The first rule, “Enhanced Disclosures by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies about Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices,” would require certain investment fund advisors to disclose greenhouse gas emissions in their portfolio. The rule was released by the SEC in May, and the public had 60 days to comment.

The “Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” would require financial firms to add climate-related information in their annual reports. The comment deadline expired on May 20.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and 17 other attorneys general sent a letter to the SEC asking them to extend the comment period.

“The liberal agenda pushing ESG regulations on banks is creating huge problems for businesses attempting to invest in American economic growth,” Rutledge said in a news release. “Public input shouldn’t be wrongly discarded due to a computer error. Giving the public more time to comment is just common sense.”

Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia also signed the letter.

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