House Members Introduce Bill to Stop SEC Climate-Reporting Rule

Source: By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2022

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — In attempt to stop the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission from implementing a climate-reporting rule that could affect farmers and ranchers across the country, more than 80 members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on Thursday that would effectively end the rule.The “Enhancement and Standardization of Climate Related Disclosures for Investors” proposed rule has been touted by the SEC as a way to protect investors in publicly traded companies. It would require those companies to report data about their entire supply chain, including farmers and ranchers.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., introduced the “Protect Farmers from the SEC Act” along with more than 80 co-sponsors.

The legislation would prohibit the SEC from requiring an issuer of securities to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in the issuer’s value chain arising from farms.

The bill defines the production, manufacturing, or harvesting of an agricultural product through the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, outlines “upstream and downstream” activities and defines greenhouse gas emissions, among other things.

According to a news release from Newhouse, the legislation is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council, National Pork Producers Council, USA Rice, American Sugar Alliance, American Soybean Association, National Potato Council, United States Cattlemen’s Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Agricultural Retailers Association, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

In April 2022, more than 100 agriculture interest groups asked for an extension of the public-comment period, saying farmers and ranchers could have to report personal and business-related information to the SEC if the rule is finalized.

The SEC proposal would require businesses to show how they identify and manage climate risks and how the risks affect companies.Companies would then be required to report how their meeting climate pledges.

The proposal breaks emissions into three categories. Companies with more than $75 million in revenues would have to report so-called Scope 1 and 2 emissions directly from their operations. Scope 3 would cover emissions from customers and supply chains.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said in a news release back in April, “Nearly every farmer’s and rancher’s products eventually touch a publicly traded company, meaning that farmers and ranchers could be forced to report personal information and business-related data.”

AFBF said the “unprecedented overreach could create onerous reporting requirements” for farms and ranches of all sizes.

Newhouse said in a news release on Thursday that the SEC’s proposal was “major government overreach.”

“Farmers in central Washington and across the country are struggling due to overreaching regulations, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and skyrocketing inflation,” he said.

“Imposing even more regulations on the men and women who produce the food for our families would be devastating at any time, but it may well cripple the entire industry when food prices are already at a 40-year high.”

Read the legislation here: https://newhouse.house.gov/…

Read more on DTN:

“Ag Groups Alarmed by SEC Climate Rule,” https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

 

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