Council CEO Leslie Beyer moderated an engaging session about ESG-focused regulations and their financial impact on the energy sector during the second annual Hart Energy ESG Conference in Houston on November 29.
Council Board Member Mark Reed, Mustang Cat; Bethany Andell, Savage Brands; and Council SVP Government Affairs Tim Tarpley discussed the current government regulatory environment and how companies in the energy space navigate through changes.
“The smart companies are getting ahead and walking the talk on ESG. They’re going to raise up the rest of the sector and bring everyone on board,” Beyer said.
Given the Biden Administration’s emphasis on a “whole government approach” regarding climate change, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken measures towards mandatory climate-related disclosures. However, Tarpley noted the rule might be limited.
“The SEC is indicating a final rule will not come out until next year, and the longer the timeline for release is pushed back the greater potential for political considerations to limit the scope of the rule.”Tim Tarpley, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
More imminent to the sector is the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) and the potential passage of the Build Back Better act. Tarpley pointed out “there are opportunities within these bills for companies and technologies that can monitor and prevent emissions.”
Reed emphasized that the heavy equipment and energy sectors are seeing a transformation in the industry to lower emissions, lower carbon footprint and increased efficiencies, all while trying to maintain a profitable business.
“Private companies need to understand what’s going on at financial institutions and what reporting is required for public companies. Those requirements are beginning to go down the supply chain, so even private companies need to pay attention and make their own reporting assessments.”Board Member Mark Reed, Mustang Cat
Looking at ESG compliance costs to companies, Andell discussed that companies can lose if they do not “engage employees on the companies’ values” given their role as stakeholders and representatives. She added that is there is a cost to organizations if they do not engage, but long-term value for companies that truly embrace purpose behind their ESG strategy.
For more information about the Council’s ESG efforts, contact Senior Advisor ESG, Sustainability, Energy Transition and Technology Andy Knapp for more information.
Maria Suarez, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.