Synopsis Title

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposes new regulations requiring businesses to report yearly greenhouse gas emissions and contributions to climate-change (Gura, 2022).  The proposed rule is posted to the Federal Register (Kerwin & Furlong, 2019, pg. 10-13). The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires federal agencies to notify the public of all proposed rules and to allow for public response to proposed rules (Bryner, 1987). The SEC plans to allow for public comment for a thirty-day period (U.S. Federal Government, 2022), in compliance with the APA.

The proposed rule and a related “fact sheet” provide in-depth information on the new requirements (U.S. Federal Government, 2022). The SEC’s stated goal is to provide investors with more knowledge prior to making investment decisions. Others argue that the rules are a backdoor attempt by the SEC to address climate-change, a policy issue outside the scope of their enabling statute. This speaks to the debate over bureaucratic discretion – when Congress established the SEC, did they intend for them to regulate climate-change related activities? If the rule moves forward, this has implications for other agencies who may believe that they also have broader discretion to address policy issues traditionally considered beyond their purview.

Word count: 200


Bryner, G. C. (1987). Bureaucratic discretion. Pergamon Press.

Gura, D. (2022, March 21). The SEC Wants Companies To Disclose How Climate Change Is Affecting Them. NPR. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from

Kerwin, C. M., & Furlong, S. R. (2018). Rulemaking: How government agencies write law and make policy. Cq Press.

U.S. Federal Government . (2022, March 21). SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from 

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