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Trump’s SEC ‘determined to leave public in the dark’ on climate change, Sierra Club alleges in lawsuit

Activists representing more than 350 environmental, civic, and college student organizations held a press conference in Downtown manhattan and delivered a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in support of his investigation of ExxonMobil.

The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission for its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and disclose documents regarding what the environmental group called the agency’s “unprecedented rejections, on behalf of corporate polluters, of climate-related shareholder resolutions aimed at reducing harmful pollution, or adopting corporate sustainability and climate goals.”

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Climate resolutions introduced by shareholders for annual meetings of companies have risen in recent years, but the SEC’s rejection of these proposals using what is called no-action letter relief have also increased under Trump administration. The agency has allowed companies not to hold votes on at least 12 climate-related shareholder resolutions in the last 18 months, including one that, if passed, would have compelled Exxon Mobil to disclose emissions targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Before that, a 2018 shareholder resolution planned at EOG Resources was blocked by company with the SEC’s approval, and the agency saying in its no-action letter that the resolution “seeks to micromanage the Company by probing too deeply into matters of a complex nature which shareholders, as a group, would not be a in a position to make an informed judgment.”

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