Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Climate change survey surprise: insurance regulators scale back climate-change survey of companies

In the New York Times this morning:
A surprise rebellion by a majority of insurance regulators Sunday reversed key elements of a landmark regulation requiring the nation's largest industry to publicly disclose its efforts to address climate change. Companies can now submit their answers confidentially in most states.
..."To me personally it was very disappointing," said Mike Kreidler, the insurance commissioner of Washington state and vice chairman of the task force that developed the survey.

"The dynamics started to change after Copenhagen," he added, saying that political unrest among regulators grew as the controversy around national climate legislation and the controversy over hacked e-mails from climate scientists expanded. "Probably more so, I think, was the conservative backlash that's been somewhat evidenced in the tea bag party movement, somewhat being in denial that there's any problem with climate."
And from public radio's Marketplace:
While Congress tries to figure out what to do about its energy and climate change bills, some regulators have been trying to change things on their own. Last year, state insurance commissioners decided insurance companies had to disclose what global warming might mean for their profits and losses. A year of lobbying by those insurance companies later, and the commissioners have changed their minds.