On Feb. 13, a group of republican lawmakers reintroduced legislation to exempt family farmers and ranchers from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting rules.
John Boozman (Ark.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senate ag committee member Mike Braun (Ind.) and Rep. Frank Lucas (Okla.), former chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, have teamed up on the “Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.”
The SEC’s climate disclosure proposal would require all public 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 value chain. The value chain reporting component of the proposal would, according to the lawmakers, 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.”
“All it takes is a basic understanding of how agriculture works to see how misguided this proposal is—particularly when it comes to the so-called ‘value chain’ rules. The SEC can claim compliance will fall to the publicly traded corporations the SEC oversees, but the reality is it will be up to America’s family farmers and ranchers who will have to keep up with an unprecedented amount of unnecessary paperwork,” Boozman said. “Our farmers and ranchers are struggling with record high input costs, supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, drought and other natural disasters.”
“Since I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve been a leading voice for the climate benefit of farming, but this SEC regulation was drafted to meet out-of-touch climate metrics, not to meet reality,” Braun said.
Lucas said federal securities laws already require publicly traded companies to disclose material risks to investors, calling the SEC’s climate disclosure rule “ill-advised.”