SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Business and agricultural groups sued the state of California Tuesday over the widest range of issues. Obligation to disclose climate information The country argued that the policy signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last year overrode the federal government’s authority to regulate emissions nationwide.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, California Chamber of Commerce, American Farm Federation and other groups filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They argue that the new rules go too far because they apply to companies headquartered outside of California as long as they do business within the state. The group also claims the law violates the First Amendment by requiring companies to comment on climate change, which the lawsuit calls a “politically sensitive topic.” .
“These new climate reporting laws are far from cost-effective and will have no appreciable impact on climate change,” Jennifer Barrera, CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “Forcing companies to report inconsistent and inaccurate information unnecessarily puts them at risk of large fines.”
The case is the first major legal challenge to a series of laws that have attracted the attention of large corporations and environmental leaders far beyond California. This comes as the state prepares to evaluate how to implement the new law. Newsom, who frequently touts California’s status as a global climate leader, signed the high-profile legislation last year ahead of the federal government’s final action. Climate change information disclosure rules for listed companies.
The complaint says business groups support efforts to curb global warming emissions, but if more states pass conflicting emissions regulations, the new disclosure rules could become “one conflicting law after another.” It is argued that this may lead to “hagi”.
One of the laws mandates public and private companies. Earn over $1 billion annually The law applies to more than 5,300 U.S. companies doing business in California, regardless of where their headquarters are located. Companies must report emissions, including emissions from manufacturing and transporting products. Indirect emissions such as employee travel must also be disclosed.
Supporters of the law say it will increase transparency about how big companies are contributing to climate change and help companies assess how they can reduce emissions. But the lawsuit argues that the law is too burdensome and that emissions data can contain inaccuracies that mislead the public.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat representing San Francisco who authored the law, called the lawsuit “a direct denial of climate change.”
“The Chamber of Commerce is taking such radical legal action because many large corporations, especially fossil fuel companies and big banks, are realizing how dramatically they are contributing to climate change. “This is because we are extremely afraid that we will have to inform the public,” he said in a statement, “that would mislead the public and investors.”
Business groups are also fighting a new law in California that would require companies making more than $500 million a year to report every two years on how climate change will affect their finances and how they plan to adapt. He’s suing the state. The lawsuit argues that states should not require companies to “discuss the impacts of climate change or appropriate responses to climate change.”
Democratic state Sen. Henry Stern of Los Angeles, who introduced the financial disclosure bill, said in a statement that groups supporting the lawsuit are trying to undermine the state’s climate laws.
“This is a cynical and dangerous ploy to lure the United States Supreme Court into completely rewriting environmental federalism under the guise of a distorted version of the First Amendment,” Stern said.
___ Austin is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Austin on Platform X, formerly known as Twitter: @sophieadanna