Despite Irma, Florida Rep. Aims To Let Companies Hide Climate Risks

"The Republican congressman from one of Hurricane Irma’s hardest hit counties is leading a legislative effort to let companies conceal how climate change affects their businesses. Only weeks before the storm came ashore, Florida U.S. Rep. Bill Posey reintroduced legislation designed to bar federal regulators from forcing companies to better disclose their climate-related risks to their shareholders. Amid fossil fuel industry lobbying on the bill, a version of Posey’s legislation was passed by the House last year, and now — despite hurricanes and floods intensified by climate change — the legislation could get a boost from a Trump administration that has moved to roll back efforts to combat global warming.

Climatologists have said that while climate change may not have caused Hurricane Irma, warmer waters intensify such storms. Still, Florida has twice elected a Republican governor who has questioned the science behind climate change and whose administration has barred the use of the terms “climate change” and “sea-level rise” by state officials. Meanwhile, in Washington, Florida’s Posey has taken a similarly high-profile leadership role in fighting efforts to confront climate change.

Posey, of District 8, represents Brevard County — which sustained significant damage, flooding and power outages from Irma. Since being elected in 2008, Posey has voted against enforcing limits on carbon pollution and in favor of barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He signed a pledge to oppose any climate change legislation that increases government revenue. As a member of the powerful Financial Services Committee, he has most prominently spearheaded legislation to kill a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiative designed to compel corporate executives to tell their shareholders how their companies could be affected by climate change."

Alex Kotch and David Sirota report for International Business Times September 11, 2017.

Source: International Business Times, 09/12/2017