CODAY: SEC’s Climate Disclosures Strike At The Heart Of American Energy. We’re Striking Back

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Matt Coday Contributor
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As an oilfield roughneck, truck driver, and lifelong member of the American oil and gas community, I have witnessed firsthand the resilience, innovation, and dedication of those who work in this pivotal sector. Our industry is not just about extracting resources; it’s about powering homes, fueling economies, and providing jobs to millions of Americans.

Recent actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) threaten to crush that industry. Today, we’re taking action by filing a lawsuit with the help of Liberty Justice Center and the Pelican Institute.

This month, the SEC finalized a new rule that will hurt the oil and gas industry. They’re requiring that public companies share information about the amount of greenhouse gases they’re releasing, including emissions they’re directly or indirectly responsible for, along with estimates about their environmental impact. This request goes way beyond what the SEC usually handles and steps into areas that, frankly, should be decided by the voters and their representatives.

The reason we’re challenging this rule is straightforward. The SEC is overstepping its boundaries by getting into climate regulation without clear permission from Congress. Congress — not agencies — should tackle big economic and political topics.

Secondly, this rule seems to come out of nowhere, contradicting the SEC’s previous stance that it didn’t have the authority for such regulations without a solid reason for the change.

And third, they’re pushing companies to make statements on climate change that could paint them in a bad light, essentially discouraging investment in sectors like ours. It’s not just an overreach, it’s a direct challenge to each company’s right to speak freely.

The stakes are at an all-time high for our country’s jobs, economy, and national security. Compliance with this rule will impose staggering costs, estimated at over $4.1 billion industry-wide. For companies in our field, this rule will require extensive financial and operational resources, diverting funds from innovation, workforce development, and energy production. This comes at a time when America’s energy independence and economic resilience are more crucial than ever, as foreign adversaries with far less environmentally conscious standards vie to take our jobs and chip away at America’s global market share.

Our lawsuit is not a stand against transparency or accountability. We fully support measures that provide meaningful, clear, and useful information to investors. But the SEC’s rule is not about enlightenment. It is regulatory overreach that threatens the very fabric of our industry and the livelihoods of the millions who depend on it. Allowing the SEC to expand its regulatory reach into environmental matters sets a dangerous precedent that would allow them to require disclosures from other “disfavored” industries, stifling economic growth.

In challenging the SEC’s climate disclosure rule, we are defending not only the oil and gas sector, but also the principles of our system of government. This fight is about ensuring that regulatory agencies operate within their lawful bounds, respecting the right of the people’s representatives to make significant policy choices. If Congress does not mandate such disclosures, unelected bureaucrats should not be able to backdoor them in.

As we take this stand, we do so not just for our industry, but for the future of American energy, economic liberty, and the democratic process. Our commitment is to ensure that the oil and gas sector continues to be a cornerstone of American prosperity, driven by the hardworking men and women who power the nation and fuel the world.

Matt Coday serves as the President of Oil & Gas Workers Association

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.