December 27, 2023
Updated to include CAPR letter to comment on Proposed Rule Change to Amend the NYSE Listed Company Manual to Adopt Listing Standards for Natural Asset Companies. 1/12/24
CAPR Comments to SEC on proposed NYSE rule change:
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights
718 Griffin Avenue #7
Enumclaw, WA 98022
Vanessa A. Countryman
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F St., NE
Washington, D.C. 20549
Re: File Number SR-NYSE-2023-09: Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock
Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Amend the NYSE Listed
Company Manual to Adopt Listing Standards for Natural Asset Companies
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights is a member driven organization located in Washington State. Our core mission is to work with our members to restore and protect property rights. We envision and work toward a future where the regulatory cost of land ownership is minimized, and equitable and scientifically sound land use regulations do not force private landowners to pay disproportionately for public benefits enjoyed by all. We recognize property rights are natural rights or human rights, the very foundation of a free society. These rights are further protected by the Fifth Amendment to the federal constitution, and in state constitutions, such as in Article 1 Section 16 the Washington State constitution. Secure property rights have been a major cornerstone of the American experiment that has resulted in the highest standard of living and the most personal freedom of any people in the history of the world.
The apparent distortion of the securities laws that are the legal purpose of the NYSE with the proposed NYSE rules to allow for Natural Asset Companies to be traded on the exchange seems to be for the purpose of creating social and environmental public policy rather than to promote a free and regulated market. We must register our concerns about this departure from their purpose under federal law to facilitate transparent and efficient trading of securities among private parties. Domestic policy goals priority setting is not a legal function of the NYSE.
Local control over policy decision making and regulation is rightly key to successful environmental management, and the federal government is obligated to coordinate its rulemaking, policy, and regulation with states. The proposed rule bypasses these important considerations and legal obligations through the proposed rule giving the NAC corporate board “management authority” over all the assets within the NAC. This includes those federal lands providing the asset base for the NAC, state and federally funded conservation easements and private conservation easements that may be locally regulated or funded with tax-payer dollars at some level. This raises a fundamental constitutional question: How can a private investment company have management authority over federal lands Congress has the exclusive Constitutional authority to manage? Congress has delegated land management federal governmental agencies, and those agencies must cooperate and coordinate with the states in land management issues.
What statute confers to the SEC specifically authorizing “management authority” over federally owned lands and natural resources to private investment companies? Where exists statutory authority for the SEC to oversee activities of NAC implementation of rules and actions, and how will the SEC maintain oversight? What authority will Ecological Performance Reports be submitted to, especially if tax-payer funding such as conservation dollars are used by those submitting their easements or land to the NAC for inclusion in the market of private investment companies?
We believe many of these questions answers and relevant details are not authorized by congress and are not able to be answered on a legal basis. We also believe the proposed rule has omitted any attempt to address these legalities. The proposed rule creating an entirely new corporate taxonomy based on protecting public natural resources by placing them under the direction of NACs raises significant questions about asset valuation, investment risk, and corporate accountability that does not comport with federal law regarding the statutory mission Congress has given exchanges and the Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5) describes the purpose of the “free and open market” that exchange rules are bound to promote, the NYSE proposed rule would functionally run counter to securities law.
The final objection to the proposed rule lies in the improper and inappropriate fact that the NYSE owns an interest in Intrinsic Exchange Group Inc., the organization pioneering NACs and which intends to “promote the listing of NACs on the NYSE.” How would the NYSE evaluate a natural asset company’s application for listing in a way impervious to the interests of the NYSE’s partly-owned subsidiary the Intrinsic Exchange Group? The association existing would at the very least be at risk of appearing to carry a hindrance to a neutral and objective evaluation of applications for NAC listings.
For the reasons listed in this letter, Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights respectfully must request the obligation to disapprove the NYSE proposed rule be recognized and carried out.
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights
Get to Know American Stewards of Liberty
The CAPR Board, Directors, and Members work hard to keep liberty, property rights, and constitutionally protected rights protected and restored. We recognize the importance and benefit of other organizations who work hard on such issues as we face attacks on our liberties at an ever increasing pace! This can seem overwhelming and at times futile if one is paying attention to the myriad of attacks from local, state, and federal governments, as well as special interest groups with an eye toward their benefit at the cost of your freedoms!
We at CAPR recognize, support, and appreciate other organizations who have made the pursuit of life, liberty, and property a better informed and fought endeavor!
To that end, lets appreciate and recognize American Stewards of Liberty for their tireless work in opposing Agenda 30x30, a plan to put 30% of America's land into conservation by 2030. And the nefarious efforts of the SEC to commoditize and market our precious natural resources belonging rightly to the American people. Got to the American Stewards of Liberty website to see what you can do in this fight!
"Late on December 21st, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a pre-publication notice that they are “instituting proceedings” and re-opening the comment period on their proposed rule to approve the creation of “Natural Asset Companies” (NACs).
This is a major victory for American’s and our property rights!
The NAC investment vehicle was devised to ensure those working to “conserve” America’s natural resources would ultimately be the ones who controlled and profited from their 30×30 scheme to lock them up.
October 4th, the SEC issued a proposed rule to approve the NACs, allowing only 21 days for comment and initially only 45 days for their review.
They extended their decision-making time to January 2nd, after major concerns were raised by ASL and our partners.
Now, with the help of many of our friends, including Senator Pete Ricketts (NE), Rep. Harriet Hageman (WY), and Utah State Treasure Marlo Oaks, the SEC has decided to institute proceedings that will allow more people to comment and even rebut the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) proposal.
The NYSE partnered with the Intrinsic Exchange Group, which was founded by the Rockefeller Foundation and supported by international environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, to create these Natural Asset Companies.
NACs will allow assets such as our National Parks and other state and federal resources, as well as conservation easements on private lands, to be enrolled and used for private profit.
Investors in the NACs can be foreign adversaries who would benefit from preventing Americans from using our natural resources.
Proponents tried to get this done quickly and quietly — but you helped us shine the light on this devious scheme.
Thank you for standing with us. Your hard work is paying off!
For Land & Liberty,
Dan and Margaret Byfield
P.S. The exact comment deadline will not be determined until the notice is printed in the Federal Register – but plan on a mid-January date for now. We will keep you posted!
P.P.S If you would like to help fund this campaign, you can make a contribution here today."