“ESG Test-in”: Extra particulars on the lively position of the Securities & Alternate Fee within the Entire of Authorities push on ESG, “Local weather Danger Disclosure”


The indispensable Energy Policy Advocates group for government transparency has provided GAO with a review of record productions from FOIA litigation with the Securities & Exchange Commission, specifically from calendars of Chairman Gary Gensler and then-Commissioner Allison Herren Lee.

Between the near-obsessive push of the “ESG” and “Climate Risk Disclosure” agendas they unveil, and emerging information about an apparent example of a revolving door that is demonstrative even by Washington standards, GAO feels bold to say, that an investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission’s seemingly disproportionate focus on CRD and ESG and the implementation of that agenda is warranted.

Factors include:

  • Calendars for Chair Gary Gensler and then-Commissioner Allison Herren Lee show a disproportionate investment of time and attention in CRD and ESG, which is troubling at first glance, but of course also distracts Commission leadership from emerging, major financial market issues (eg .FTX/ Alameda)
  • These are not the publicly accessible calendars, but calendars that advocates of energy policy had to sue for. These often include details removed from the public versions
  • The SEC has heavily redacted these calendars, which is the subject of ongoing litigation. Thanks to the same group, the SEC will also soon have to produce the Biden transition team’s plan, related records, and all Biden campaign communications for a relevant period (as possible evidence of politicization).
  • In particular, the main funder of the CRD/ESG advocacy campaign is a foreign “ESG investor”, Sir Christopher Hohn. As a GAO newspaper revealed last summer, Hohn has very close ties to Chinese officials but, more worryingly, is also funding the complementary “climate lawsuit” campaign with tens of millions of dollars (despite denying involvement in US climate protection ). Court cases, records trace funds running through opaque group in Netherlands)
  • The SEC’s position is that they should address ESG, e.g. B. the CRD rule, because investors demand it. This is true so far (see Hohn, Christopher, BlackRock, et al.), although not in the way the SEC implies. For more details, see the GAO’s comments here. Given the information that has developed over years of following open records that leave no doubt as to the political and activist origins of CRD (led by the Office of New York AG, Ceres, BlackRock and the obligatory Rockefeller interest) and prior to the Reign, high-level (Gensler ) coordination with Biden White House climate office, this claim seems fabricated
  • Calendars indicate that this coordination with the White House began in May and June 2021 at the Gensler level and continued through his staff in September and December 2021
  • And now we have an apparent revolving door example that’s ostentatious even by Washington standards

Regarding the latter, raising potential conflicts and undue influence issues regarding the climate risk disclosure rule, “Kristina Wyatt left the SEC [in February 2022] Joining Persefoni, a platform for climate management and accounting, as Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Global Regulatory Climate Disclosure. Wyatt has served as Senior Counsel on Climate and ESG to the Director of Corporate Finance at the SEC – she has immersed herself deeply in the processes and decision-making underlying this proposed decision.”

Public comment on the CRD rule shows that Persefoni, a little-known but well-funded startup, has held a disproportionate number of meetings with SEC employees compared to other proponents. It seems most likely that Persefoni pushed his methodology for claiming the cost of the climate rule, as the SEC was unable to provide any methodology or citation for its low estimate of the cost of compliance for CRD, and the only number that comes close to the SEC comes from a survey, jointly commissioned by Ceres, ERM and Persefoni.

The sheer amount of time senior staff dedicates to this issue, including cuddling with activists, is troubling. That this is all in pursuit of a political agenda item demanded by investors, yes – ideologically activist investors, including obvious pension-seekers – is a different story altogether.

By the way, each of these AHL elements is different

Energy Policy Advocates’ FOIA litigation with the SEC continues on multiple fronts — one matter exposed a four-alarm fire at the Biden White House when the SEC forwarded a FOIA request for correspondence between the two, “meaning: Up,” to which the House White replied, “Has this production been tagged for OMB, CEQ, and the WH Military Office?”. Expect more calendars, other documents, and ultimately the removal of certain redactions in the coming weeks and months. GAO will remain abreast of these important developments and this critical issue.

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