House Republicans call on Biden admin to rescind 'dangerous,' potentially unconstitutional energy proposal

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FIRST ON FOX: A group of 22 House Financial Services Committee Republicans penned a letter to the Biden administration Friday, urging it to rescind a potentially unconstitutional environmental rule targeting Wall Street.

The GOP lawmakers, led by Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., warned Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler that the proposal, which the commission unveiled earlier this year, is unconstitutional in light of a recent Supreme Court decision. In March, the SEC voted along party lines to advance a rule requiring private corporations to disclose carbon emissions data and other climate information.  

"Chair Gensler and President Biden’s desire to transform our entire economy through administrative action by an unelected commission is unwise, and even dangerous," Rose said in a statement shared with FOX Business. "The SEC should immediately reverse course on this ill-advised proposal to save taxpayer dollars on fighting this in court."

"If they choose not to, they will be in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and again prove they have no desire to seriously govern within the parameters of the laws of our country," he continued. 

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Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler speaks during a congressional hearing. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/Getty Images) (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Rose and the other House Financial Services Committee Republicans cited the high court's June ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency limiting federal agencies' power to issue regulations or rules not specifically authorized by Congress. The court's majority opinion stated that Congress intends to make major policy decisions, not leave such actions to the federal government, the Republicans wrote.

"The Supreme Court decision casts serious doubt on the SEC's authority to finalize and implement its broad-sweeping climate disclosure rulemaking because the SEC's exercise of regulatory authority to conduct climate policy would require ‘clear delegation’ of authority from Congress," the lawmakers wrote to Gensler. 

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The Republicans requested for Gensler to explain what authority "expressly" grants such climate policy rulemaking if the SEC decides not to rescind the proposal and, instead, to move forward with it. They asked for a response by Aug. 19.

Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., is pressing the SEC on a proposed rule that he and 21 other House Republicans argued is unconstitutional. (Rep. Rose campaign) (Rep. Rose campaign / Fox News)

In addition to emissions data, the rule would require companies to disclose net-zero plans and the climate-related risks facing their business. Gensler said in March that the rule would benefit investors by providing them with information that could impact a companies' financial performance.

However, Republicans have largely opposed the effort. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and nearly 20 fellow Senate Republicans including Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., wrote a letter of their own opposing the proposal in April.

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"The proposal will undermine the existing regulatory framework that for many decades has undergirded consistent, comparable, and reliable company disclosures," SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, the agency’s lone Republican, said during a March 21 hearing. "We cannot make such fundamental changes to our disclosure regime without harming investors, the economy, and this agency."

The SEC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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