How Republicans are “weaponizing” public office against climate change

Like Ms. Omarova, Ms. Raskin withdrew her nomination. “Sarah has faced unfounded attacks from industry and conservative interest groups,” Biden said in a statement.

Treasurers have also targeted new federal laws and regulations designed to strengthen the government’s ability to act on climate change.

Late last year, the State Financial Officers Foundation worked with the Heritage Foundation to respond to proposals from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body charged with mitigating risk in the financial sector, to reduce threats from climate change, records show demonstrate .

And soon after, Mr. Oaks, Utah’s Treasurer, drafted a letter opposing a possible Labor Department rule that would allow pension plans to incorporate global warming risk into their investment strategy. Mr. Krefels circulated the draft to the foundation’s members, and more than a dozen treasurers signed the final letter. The Department of Labor has not yet decided whether to implement the rule.

This year the Treasurers targeted the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. After the agency proposed a rule requiring banks to consider climate-related financial risks, Heritage Foundation executives sent Mr. Krefels and Mr. Oaks a memo outlining their opposition. Within weeks, dozens of state treasurers and attorneys general from Republican-run states filed comments opposing the proposed rule.

“This particular concern and attention to climate-related risks is irrational,” it said in a comment.

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

The next month, the State Financial Officers Foundation sent a 20-page letter signed by more than a dozen treasurers, calling the SEC’s proposed rule, which has not yet taken effect, “irrational climate exceptionalism that puts climate issues in prioritize disclosures they do not deserve.”

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