The greenhouse gas emissions reporting rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission were targeted by Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas and other farm-state representatives who want exemptions for America’s farmers and ranchers.
Rep. Lucas, the longest-serving Republican on the House Committee and Financial Services and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee was joined by Arkansas U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Indian Sen. Mike Braun in reintroducing their Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.
The Protect Farmers from the SEC Act would exempt family farmers and ranchers from being included in the indirect GHG reporting requirements, ensuring they would not be required to track and disclose granular on-farm data regarding individual operations and day-to-day activities in order to stay compliant with the companies that purchase their products.
“The SEC’s efforts to use financial regulation to implement a climate agenda would hinder the ability of American farmers and ranchers to compete in global markets and creating onerous compliance requirements for operations with few or no employees,” said Congressman Frank Lucas.
He said the SEC’s climate disclosure rule is not only “ill-advised” but “undermines the materiality standard for environmental policy purposes.
Lucas and the two Senators said their legislation is designed to make sure the SEC doesn’t take action that leads to what they call “burdensome reporting requirements” for family farmers and ranchers.
“Our farmers and ranchers are struggling with record high input costs, supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, drought and other natural disasters. Yet, the administration, with its never-ending focus on climate change, wants to bury them with reams of paperwork as well,” Ranking Member Boozman said.
Sen. Braun said the SEC regulation was drafted to meet out-of-touch climate metrics and not to meet reality.
“I’ve heard from countless Hoosier farmers who are worried about what this regulation means for their farms and their livelihoods. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Sen. Boozman to put a stop to the Biden administration’s federal overreach on Hoosier farms and ranches,” Senator Mike Braun said.
In March 2022, the SEC proposed a rule
, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” (climate disclosure rule), that would require publicly traded companies to disclose GHG emissions from operations a company owns or controls; from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heat or cooling that is consumed by company operations; and, if material, indirect GHG emissions that occur in the upstream and downstream activities of a registrant’s entire value chain.
The value chain reporting component of this proposal would place a reporting burden on the farmers and ranchers that provide raw products to the value-chain, and would inundate small, family-owned farms with costly compliance requirements.
The Protect Farmers from the SEC Act is backed by leading agriculture organizations including the American Farm Bureau, National Pork Producers Council, National Cotton Council, USA Rice, American Soybean Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the National Potato Council.
the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act in the 117th
Congress, alongside Ranking Member Boozman who introduced the Senate companion.
The Wall Street Journal reported
strong opposition to the SEC’s climate disclosure rules by the agricultural industry stating, “[b]ig agricultural groups say a proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission requiring companies to report their carbon footprint could drive small farmers out of business.”
Source: press release