FOIA Litigation reveals eye-opening breadth and depth of climate activist involvement with Biden Administration
Coordination extends beyond SEC, to White House, EPA, others
Energy Policy Advocates has obtained 501 pages from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation over records pertaining to the involvement of a “climate” rent-seeker, Persefoni, and its partners Ceres and a consultant called ERM. It is now clear that these parties worked hand-in-glove with the SEC in developing the latter’s “climate risk disclosure” (CRD) proposed rule.
That rule declared an outlying, relatively low cost estimate a fraction of what other parties estimate this will do to the broader economy and its (non-Persefoni) participants, yet lacking citation or methodology to explain from whence it came.
Subsequently, numerous congressional oversight efforts have focused on determining where this enigmatic cost estimate for SEC’s extraordinary and legally adventuresome CRD proposal came from.
For a primer, GAO has covered this troubling public-private partnership, here.
To the list of glaring problems (think: compelled speech, materiality, Major Questions Doctrine), it seems a decent bet to add good old arbitrary and capricious to CRD’s obvious vulnerabilities.
Here are a few exemplars from early in the production, and early in the game, giving a flavor of the canoodling:
As background, emails and other info in the public domain indicate Curtis Ravenel serves both Michael Bloomberg (see, “Mike”) and consultant to the ESG stars and former Bank of England head Mark Carney in lobbying the Biden Administration to adopt their “climate” projects respectively styled TCFD and GFANZ — by regulatory fiat. This portfolio includes, as Treasury Department productions show, lobbying them on their Gmails.
The latter being a practice also used by Bloomberg aide and former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, who would email, e.g., Janet Yellen Chief of Staff Didem Nisanci’s GMail, then come in to jointly lobby SEC on climate issues (?!)). It’s quite an operation.
Persefoni has since brought on board SEC’s Kristina Wyatt who features in these emails, Emily Pierce and former Commissioner and Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee, whose schedule also obtained by Energy Policy Advocates affirms was the principal driver of this overreach, on the Commission. They all go way back with this rather new yet remarkably influential entity.
One can see why the House Financial Services Committee, House Committee on Oversight & Reform, and Senate Banking Committee Republicans have been pressing SEC on this matter. Hopefully this helps as, yet again, stonewalling agencies have made it necessary for private parties to go to court to get some of the record of how these institutions are being used, with whom.
There is much more there. As SEC stated about this production in a Joint Status Report filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday:
9,600 pages, most of which are attachments. Yesterday’s production included all “parent” emails and began releasing some of the many pages of attachments, thereto.
Those numbers strongly suggest we’ve cracked the mystery of the missing source behind SEC’s cost estimate for its climate risk disclosure rule. (Readers also will spot Team Persefoni spending quite a bit of time downplaying costs of CRD and, reminiscent of so much in the climate industry, how those costs, why, they’ll just go lower once you coerce a bigger market for us into place.)
There is more coming, and hopefully congressional oversight bodies get further information. For now, anyone with any involvement with this move should read the SEC’s initial production, here.