World · August 5, 2022

How Republicans Are Arming Public Offices Against Climate Action

Like Ms. Omarova, Ms. Raskin withdrew her appointment. “Sarah has been the subject of unfounded attacks from industry and conservative interest groups,” Biden said in a statement.

The treasurers also set their sights on new federal rules and regulations intended to strengthen the government’s ability to act on climate change.

Late last year, the State Financial Officers Foundation partnered with the Heritage Foundation to respond to proposals from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government committee charged with minimizing risks in the financial sector, on ways to reduce threats posed by the climate change, according to the records.

And soon after, Mr. Oaks, the Utah treasurer, drafted a letter against a potential Department of Labor rule that would allow retirement plans to consider global warming risks in their investment strategy. Mr. Kreifels distributed the draft to the foundation members and more than a dozen treasurers signed the final letter. The Department of Labor has not decided whether to apply the rule.

This year the treasurers have targeted the Office of the Currency Checker. After the agency proposed a rule to require banks to consider climate-related financial risk, Heritage Foundation executives sent Mr. Kreifels and Mr. Oaks a memo outlining their opposition. Within weeks, dozens of state treasurers and republican-led state attorneys general filed comments in opposition to the proposed rule.

“This particular concern and focus on climate-related risks is irrational,” reads a comment.

And in May, Mr. Kreifels organized a call with treasurers to discuss regulations proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require companies to publicly disclose climate risks to investors. The featured guest was a representative of the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying arm of the fossil fuel industry.

The following month, the State Financial Officers Foundation sent out a 20-page letter signed by more than a dozen treasurers, defining the SEC-proposed rule, which has not yet been enacted, “irrational climate exceptionalism, which elevates climate issues to a prominent place in revelations that do not deserve ”.