Scott Joins Boozman and Colleagues to Protect Farmers From SEC
Washington– This week, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined six other senators in cosponsoring the Protect the Farmers from the SEC Act introduced by Senator John Boozman (R- Ark.). This legislation would protect family farmers and ranchers from burdensome greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting rules proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Farmers and ranchers are the people responsible for feeding America. The last thing they need is to be subjected to intrusive, unnecessary, and overwhelming requirements from the government,” said Senator Scott. “Instead of burdening these families with compliance paperwork, we should be looking for ways to support them and lighten an already heavy load.”
“The authors of this rule clearly lack an understanding of how agriculture works. The publicly traded corporations overseen by the SEC won’t be the ones tasked with complying with these onerous ‘value chain’ rules. That responsibility would fall on America’s family farmers and ranchers who would be forced to deal with unprecedented amounts of unnecessary paperwork. This is the last thing they need as they struggle in the face of record high input costs, supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, drought and other natural disasters,” Boozman said.
Joining Senators Scott and Boozman are Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R- Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Cynthia Lummis (R- Wyo.).
In March 2021, the SEC announced a climate disclosure proposal that 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 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 this proposal would place an undue burden on the farmers and ranchers who provide raw products to the value chain, inundating small, family-owned farms with costly compliance requirements.
The Protect Farmers from the SEC Act will exempt family farmers and ranchers from these reporting requirements, ensuring they are not 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 Protect Farmers from the SEC Act is backed by a number of leading agriculture organizations including the American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, USA Rice, National Cotton Council, American Sugar Alliance, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, United Egg Producers and Agriculture Retailers Association.
A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year by Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.).
Full text of the bill can be found here.