On October 4, 2023, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) published a proposed rule that would create an entirely new type of company called a Natural Asset Company (NAC). An NAC, “is a corporation whose primary purpose is to actively manage, maintain, restore (as applicable), and grow the value of natural assets and their production of ecosystem services.”
“This means that NACs would be given license to control lands, both public and private, and would be required not to conduct any ‘unsustainable activities, such as mining, that lead to the degradation of the ecosystems,’” stated Margaret Byfield of American Stewards of Liberty, writing in RealClearMarkets.
Marlo Oaks, the State Treasurer of Utah, said in a Wall Street Journal article, “If the rule stands, productive farmland could disappear rapidly. Energy self-sufficiency will soon be lost forever. One of America’s greatest assets, her natural resources, would be diminished due to climate catastrophizing, complicit politicians, and Wall Street promoters.”
Treasurer Oaks summed up the dangers in a press release:
- Under the proposal, private interests, including foreign-owned sovereign wealth funds, could use their capital to purchase or manage farmland, national and state parks, and other mineral-rich areas and stop essential economic activities like farming, grazing, and energy extraction.
- Unlike other types of companies, the purpose of a NAC is to maximize the value of the land’s “ecological services,” rather than generate a profit.
- Certain activities, including energy extraction and the use of farm machinery and synthetic fertilizers, would be prohibited on NAC-designated land.
- In addition to the economic harm NACs would cause, there are national security implications as well. Russian, Chinese, or Saudi sovereign wealth funds might see particular value in locking up U.S. natural resources.
ACT NOW TO STOP THE SEC FROM APPROVING THE RULE
The SEC limited the comment period for the proposed rule and is set to make a decision by January 2, 2024. Immediate Action is needed!
- U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) is currently circulating a member letter requesting an extension of the comment period for the proposed SEC rule to create Natural Asset Companies. Call your member and ask them to sign Rep. Hageman’s letter requesting the SEC to extend the comment period for another 60 days. House Switchboard: 202-224-3121
- Although the Comment period is officially over, you can read past comments and submit your thoughts here.
- Educate yourself and others about the dangers of NACs and the Proposed Rule by the SEC.
- NAC Briefing Paper & Executive Summary | American Stewards
- Companies That Can’t Make Money | By Marlo Oaks | Published in the Wall Street Journal
- Beware SEC Creation of Natural Asset Companies | Published in Real Clear Markets | Margaret Byfield
- SEC proposal invites fraud by creating special rules for ‘Natural Asset Companies’ | By Justin Bis | The Washington Times
- Letter to SEC from Senators Ricketts, Crapo and Risch regarding Natural Asset Companies
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121