Rosendale and Fox Stand Up Against California Anti-Coal Initiative

Kyle Schmauch 2017, Insurance, Press Release

HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale and Attorney General Tim Fox are calling on California Insurance Commissioner David Jones to end his misguided “Climate Risk Carbon Initiative.”

Rosendale and Fox joined five other insurance commissioners and 12 other attorneys general this week in requesting California cease and desist its effort to require insurance companies to publicly disclose investments in fossil fuels and sign a pledge to divest from the coal industry.

“California is pursuing another misguided political agenda to put Montana coal workers out of their jobs, and is risking the solvency of our insurance industry in the process,” Rosendale said. “California needs to immediately end its initiative before it harms Montana insurance consumers and energy workers.”

“Creating public policy for the sole purpose of political showmanship is irresponsible, and is even worse when it harms consumers,” Fox said. “I’m not going to stand on the sidelines while an elected official from another state plays politics with the people of Montana.” ​

Rosendale and Fox signed onto letters with officials from several other states opposing California’s threats to the insurance and energy industries.

Key excerpts from the insurance commissioners’ letter:

  • “Not only does [California’s Climate Risk Carbon Initiative] undermine the authority of each insurer’s domestic regulator, such a request substitutes traditional insurance solvency regulation with a narrow political agenda that places politics above sound insurance regulatory practices.”
  • “Using the pressure of government to push a company—especially an out-of-state company subject to the authority of its domestic regulator—in one direction over another is improper and detrimental to state-based insurance regulation. Doing so to accomplish a political agenda, rather than a solvency- and consumer-focused agenda, is unacceptable and undermines our authority to credibly regulate this industry.”

Key excerpts from the attorneys general letter:

  • “This initiative is misguided as a matter of policy, questionable as a matter of law, and inconsistent with the principle of comity among the United States.”
  • “It is our responsibility to protect the interests of those insurance companies harmed by your new initiative, as well as the many energy businesses, their employees, and their customers who are the targets of your attempt at public shaming. It is also our role to protect the public from misleading, alarmist, and fiscally irresponsible information, including deeming investments in fossil fuels as likely “stranded assets.” Such hyperbolic and inflammatory language can only be aimed at hurting that sector of the economy responsible for providing American citizens with reliable energy resources.”

The letter from state insurance commissioners can be found HERE

The letter from state attorneys general can be found HERE

###