California Could Require Issuance Disclosure Even If SEC Doesn’t

Good morning and welcome to El Clima 202! congratulations to our colleague steven mufsonwho retire at the end of the month after an incredible 34-year career at The Washington Post, where he shared a 2020 pulitzer prize for the series “2C: Beyond the limit”. We’ve learned a lot from him about weather reports (and mediocre pancake breakfasts).

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Up next, we have an exclusive on the new climate legislation in Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Representative Summer L. Lee (D-Pa.). But first:

California could require large companies to disclose their emissions, regardless of the SEC

In February, we reported on an ambitious package of climate bills in California. Today, we are reviewing those measures, which could be approved by the state Senate as soon as this week.

One of the bills in particular could have implications far beyond California’s borders. The measure would require large companies in the Golden State to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, even when the National Stock Market Commission consider carving out a similar rule in the face of looming legal challenges.

Since many businesses that do business in California are also active nationally, the rule could maintain more stringent reporting requirements, even if federal mandates are reduced.

“Given the size of California’s economy, we are now the fourth largest economy in the world, a large percentage of large corporations are doing business in California,” the state said. Senator Scott Wiener (D), who introduced the bill, told The Climate 202. “So this is going to have a big impact.”

Low Senate Bill 253known as the Climate Corporate Data Responsibility Actcompanies that generate at least $1 billion in revenue and do business in California would have to report their emissions to the public annually.

The move looks a lot like a landmark rule the SEC proposed last spring. Similarly, the rule would require all publicly traded companies to disclose their emissions and the financial risks they face from climate change.

But in two key ways, the California legislation is more ambitious and far-reaching than the federal proposal.

  • First, the California bill would apply to both privately owned and publicly traded companies, while the SEC’s proposal would affect only the latter.
  • Second, the California bill would require companies to disclose their Scope 3 emissions, or those produced by customers and suppliers. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has hinted that the commission is considering removing the scope 3 requirements to help the rule survive expected legal challenges.

“This has much more implications than the SEC rule,” Wiener said. “Scope 3 is very important and for many companies it accounts for 90 percent or more of the company’s carbon emissions. So if you remove scope 3, you really drastically reduce what gets disclosed.”

SEC spokesperson aisha johnson declined to comment for this report.

Not everyone agrees with the California bill. Dozens of companies and industry groups have voiced their opposition to the measure.

  • Opponents of the fossil fuel industry include the Western States Petroleum Association and the California Fuel and Convenience Alliance.
  • fargo wells and the hamburger chain In and out They have also reportedly lobbied against the legislation.

kevin scumA spokesperson for the oil association, told The Climate 202 that it “may be impossible” to comply with the “very costly and costly reporting requirements” in the legislation, especially the scope 3 mandates.

“When you look at scope 3 emissions, some of those emissions may be in China or India or some other part of the world,” Slagle said. “And so you’re punishing California companies that have global reach.”

steven rothsteinmanaging director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, strongly rejected this assessment. He said that many large corporations already voluntarily disclose this information, and companies must prepare now for emissions reporting requirements that will come into effect in Europe in the coming years.

“If you are a large multinational company operating in California, it is important to understand that even if this bill does not pass, you will have other disclosure requirements that will go into effect,” he said.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill

It’s also worth checking out another major climate bill that could pass the state Senate as soon as today. Senate Bill 252which was presented by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D), would require California pension funds to divest from the 200 largest oil, gas, and coal companies by July 2031.

Climate activists say the measure would prevent the retirement savings of teachers, firefighters and other state public employees from being used to finance fossil fuels at a time when California grapples with a climate change-induced drought and a relentless rainy season. forest fires.

“Teachers need to be very aware that they are funding the same climate chaos that prevents some of their students from being able to fully participate in school.” miguel alatorrecampaign organizer with Fossil Free Californiahe told El Clima 202.

He California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teacher Retirement System (CalSTRS), which rank as the two largest public pension funds in the country, have raised concerns about the bill.

  • CalPERS spokesperson john myers He said the bill would force the fund to sell fossil fuel investments currently worth at least $9.3 billion.
  • CalSTRS spokesperson Rebecca Foree said in an email that “divestment ignores the larger climate risks from different sectors that CalSTRS is working to address, and would divert resources from CalSTRS’s efforts to achieve net zero.”

alex stacka California spokesperson Governor Gavin Newsom (D), declined to say whether the governor would sign the bills if they reached his desk. “We typically don’t comment on pending legislation,” Stack said in an email.

Exclusive: Democrats introduce bill to provide hazard pay during weather disasters

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Representatives Summer L. Lee (D-Pa.), Barbara Lee (D-California) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) will introduce legislation today to increase hazard pay and implement better safety measures for healthcare workers during extreme weather events fueled by climate change, according to details shared exclusively with The Climate 202.

The Health Care Heroes Hazard Pay Act would empower Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra to issue hazard pay grants of up to $13 per hour, or $25,000 per year, to healthcare workers who provide round-the-clock care to patients during emergencies and extreme weather disasters. The bill would also help provide these workers with additional personal protective equipment and alternate transit.

The measure comes after a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that a simultaneous heat wave and power outage in Phoenix would cause nearly half of the city’s residents to require emergency medical care for serious heat-related illnesses.

“Health care workers are on the front lines of our nation’s twin climate and public health crises, treating and caring for the communities most affected by extreme weather and environmental disasters,” Markey said in a statement. “These heroes deserve more than our gratitude – they deserve better pay and stronger protections.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Cory Bush Representatives (D-Mo.), Ayanna Presley (D-Massachusetts), sheila jackson lee (D-Tex.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), jamaal goalkeeper (DN.Y.), Delia C. Ramirez (Dill.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and gwen moore (D-Wisconsin).

House committee votes to ban Russian uranium, block gas stove rules

He House Committee on Commerce and Energy Yesterday it passed a bill that would ban Russian uranium imports and sent it to the House for a vote.

He Russian uranium import ban law would immediately ban imports of Russian uranium, but would allow the Department of Energy to issue waivers to utilities that would otherwise have to shut down nuclear reactors. Those utilities could continue to import limited amounts of the metal from Russia, which still supplies more than 20 percent of US nuclear fuel, through 2028.

The measure was introduced by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the full committee, and Representative Robert E. Latta (R-Ohio), president of the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee. He Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources last week passed a similar bill Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to cut off imports of Russian uranium and establish a domestic supply chain.

The House panel also voted to pass a bill to block the Department of EnergyNew efficiency standards for gas and electric stoves. According to the agency, the draft rule would reduce energy use by about 30 percent for electric and gas stove models, but would not ban gas stoves entirely, which has become a talking point. Common to the Republican Party.

“Despite attempts to misinform the public and undermine efforts to lower energy bills across the country, the American people continue to support Department actions that are saving them money,” the Department of Energy spokeswoman said. Troian Charisma he said in an email.

Minnesota Governor Signs Electric Vehicle Rebates Into Law

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) yesterday signed into law new electric vehicle rebates and other clean transportation spending approved by the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

The law authorizes $216 million in additional spending on energy initiatives, including $15.7 million in rebates for buying or leasing electric vehicles and $13.6 million for efforts to establish a statewide electric vehicle charging network.

brendan jordanvice president of transport and fuels of the Institute of the Great Plainsit said in a statement that the new investments would “transform Minnesota into a regional and perhaps a national leader in the EV adoption effort.”

Walz signed legislation in February calling for 100 percent clean electricity in the state by 2040. Minnesota Democrats also used their “trifecta” (control of the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature) to meet many other liberal priorities, said The Washington Post. olivier knox reports.