California’s Sweeping Climate Disclosure Law Could Go Further Than The Biden Admin’s Own Rule

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The California state Senate could pass rules requiring large companies to disclose the carbon emissions produced by their business as soon as this week, with the proposed regulation going further than similar rules proposed by the Biden administration, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The bill — known as the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act — would require that companies, which generate at least $1 billion in revenue and operate in California, disclose both their own emissions and those of their customers and suppliers, known as Scope 3 emissions. While similar to an embattled proposal from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the California law goes further by affecting private companies in addition to publicly traded firms, the Post reported. (RELATED: ‘We’re Not Expecting Anything Good’: Oil Drillers Brace For Biden’s New Rules)

After the SEC’s proposed rules faced massive pushback from companies that would be impacted, SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated in March that the agency may drop the Scope 3 emissions requirements in the final version of its regulations, CNBC reported. Despite similarly vigorous opposition from businesses, ranging from burger chain In-N-Out to oil trade groups and Wells Fargo, the California legislature is poised to pass the act soon, a move that would reach well beyond the state’s borders, according to the Post.

Gary Gensler,Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), takes his seat before the start of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “Oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission” on September 14, 2021 in Washington,DC.  (Photo by BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation in March revealed that SEC officials met with representatives of the Swiss firm South Pole, which has been accused of selling “fictitious” carbon credits, while drafting this rule. The SEC at the time declined to comment when asked about the meetings, despite repeatedly citing the firm in question in the proposed regulation.

Given the size of California’s economy — we’re now the fourth-largest economy in the world — a very large percentage of large corporations are doing business in California … this will be very impactful,” Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, who introduced the bill, told the Post. Wiener also told the outlet that he expected the California bill to have “far more implications than the SEC’s rule,” especially if Scope 3 requirements were dropped from the Biden administration’s final rule because it represents “90 percent or more” of many company’s carbon emissions. 

California recently received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement emissions standards for cars and trucks that were more restrictive than the Biden administration’s own rules. The state followed these rules with even more aggressive limits on diesel truck emissions and limits on profit margins for gasoline refiners.

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