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When it comes to climate, the SEC should quit pretending to be the EPA

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C. Boyden Gray is a former White House counsel and former U.S. ambassador to the European Union. His law firm, Boyden Gray & Associates, represents energy companies and other clients with interests in securities regulation.

The only path to enduring policy change under the Constitution runs through Congress. I saw firsthand President George H.W. Bush do that by convening the country’s best minds to modernize the Clean Air Act.

To confront climate change, President Biden should act likewise: hear from Congress, industry, science and, among regulators, the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Biden instead summoned the nation’s top financial regulators to the Oval Office. Their June meeting followed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to mandate that public stock issuers disclose their “climate risk.” Whatever the implications of climate change, these plans threaten disruptions by misusing the SEC.

Under our constitutional structure, federal regulators only have the authority granted by Congress. Lawmakers gave the SEC specific responsibilities in regulating securities markets and preventing fraud and other abuses of investors.

Diffusing the SEC’s focus is a costly gamble with millions of investors’ fortunes. Instead, the commission should keep after new Bernie........

© Washington Post

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