Climate Policy News You Can Use — March 2024

Dear Colleagues,

The Administration has begun to release some of its key proposed rulemaking we’ve been tracking over the past year. These rules are good for businesses looking to lower emissions: they level the playing field, provide certainty, and open new opportunities. As you know, these rules are almost certain to face Congressional Review Acts (CRAs) to overturn them once they are published in the Federal Registry (60 active legislative days from publication).

As you regularly meet with members of Congress, mentioning your support for the rules and urging against CRAs is a great way to support climate-positive policies that protect your business and help your company reach its net-zero goals. All the rules we have been tracking, including clean power plants, heavy-duty emissions, transmission cost allocation, and now the SEC climate-related financial disclosure rules could be under congressional review. With the buzz around the SEC climate rules and CRA threats, it is a good reminder that these are important pieces to a company’s advocacy puzzle in demonstrating climate leadership.

That said, everyone has been busy dissecting the SEC’s new climate-related financial disclosure rules. EDF has put together a summary specifically for businesses to dive deeper.

SEC Rules Have Arrived

As you likely know, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued its final rule on climate-related financial disclosure, The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. If you have questions about the final rule, please contact us and we can coordinate a call with our experts.

In the meantime, we’ve put together the attached summary to aid your teams’ understanding. You will find an overview of the rule requirements; advocacy opportunities; and an appendix with key terms, a comparison of the proposed and final rule, and an overview of different reporting requirements across the globe (SEC, China, EU, California, IFRS/ISSB).

  • Take Action:
    • Raise your support for the SEC’s rule with your trade associations and industry groups, especially those whose trades stated opposition to the proposed rule, or those pursuing a lawsuit like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
    • Protect the rule from a Congressional Review Act vote. Members of Congress have signaled they intend to introduce a CRA resolution against the rule which – if passed – would nullify it and prevent the SEC from developing similar standards in the future. Let members of Congress know that you support the rule.
    • Consider sharing your perspective with the courts reviewing the rule. Reach out if you want to discuss other opportunities to help defend the rule against challenges in court.
    • Make a supportive statement about the final rule. Highlight the reporting practice leadership your company already demonstrates, note if you had concerns about the proposal that have been addressed, and emphasize that your business can do this and wants this standard.
  • Go Deeper

FERC Nominations are a Crucial Step

President Biden has nominated Judy Chang, David Rosner, and Lindsay See to serve as Commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC plays a crucial role in ensuring that the U.S. has a modern energy system to provide reliable and affordable electricity for everyone. When FERC has a full complement of Commissioners, they are able to take action and implement important decisions regarding transmission. Businesses benefit when FERC implements their transmission programs, such as the Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Rule.

  • Take Action:
    • Advocate to members of Congress the importance of having a full complement of Commissioners at FERC.
  • Go Deeper

Reminder: MERP Comments Due March 26

EPA is welcoming comments on its

What’s new with the IRA?

  • The Department of Treasury and the IRS have released its final rules for elective payments on select clean energy credits under the IRA. See their press release which contains helpful FAQs and tools to help utilize the program.
  • 45 states and large metro areas have submitted climate action plans under the Inflation Reduction Act, which is supported by the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants. These plans also support the applications for implementation funding that are due April 1. Specifically, the climate action plans utilize new opportunities, spur economic growth and create opportunities for more jobs, and train workers.

The Latest from Capitol Hill

  • This week is energy week on Capitol Hill which means committee hearings, resolutions, and bills will be headed to the House floor for a vote. One bill that EDF is paying extra attention to is the proposed repeal of the Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP) and repeal of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. These two programs, while different in scope and practice, are key programs from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). It is critical for businesses to raise their support to their Members of Congress for these important programs. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more.
  • Additionally, Congress continues to negotiate funding levels as six of twelve bills have yet to be passed; funding is set to expire March 22.

Keeping up with the Administration

  • A reminder that there is still outstanding proposed rulemaking that must be finalized. If you are interested in learning more about any of the issues below, reach out!
    • FERC Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation
    • EPA New and Existing Power Plants
    • EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

ICYMI – Things We’re Tracking

  1. White House release: Biden-Harris Administration, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation Release Strategy to Accelerate Zero-Emission Freight Infrastructure Deployment. See EDF’s statement
  2. EDF and NGO coalition’s comments: New York’s Cap and Invest Program
  3. EDF’s blog: Unlocking Corporate Climate Investments: Beyond Value Chain Mitigation as a Key to Closing the Finance Gap
  4. EDF report: Shared Duty: National, International Oil Companies Bound Together by Methane Obligations
  5. EDF’s fact sheet: U.S. Is World Leader in Recent Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Investments
  6. EPA issues new auto rules aimed at cutting carbon emissions, boosting electric vehicles and hybrids [AP News]

Climate and Energy touches so many facets of science, the economy, and society, which can lead to some pretty cool projects. Launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, MethaneSat is a new endeavor that will bring unprecedented capabilities to the existing set of methane-detecting satellites and usher in a new era of transparency and accountability. Importantly, MethaneSat will give companies and regulators data to find and fix emission sources faster. Check out EDF’s blog post, Google’s blog post, an article about how the satellite relates to the finance sector, and exciting video about the launch.

That is all for March, thank you for reading. If this was forwarded to you, email us to subscribe!


Daniel Neff on behalf of the Climate Policy Leadership Team