Protect Farmers from the SEC Act Introduced
By: Sydney Sheffield
The Protect Farmers from the SEC Act was recently introduced by Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), along with 80 other members of Congress. The bill would prohibit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (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 and ranches.
The bill comes on the heels of the SEC’s proposal of “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors”, which would require publicly traded companies registered with the SEC to include certain climate-related disclosures in their statements and periodic reports, including measured impacts for their entire supply chain.
The proposed rule requires a registrant to disclose information about its direct greenhouse gas emissions and indirect emissions from purchased electricity or other forms of energy. In addition, a registrant would be required to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain, under several circumstances.
“The proposed climate rule is so unwieldy and convoluted that publicly traded companies will be forced to require small, independent, family farms to report on-farm data regarding individual operations and day-to-day activities. In this capacity, the SEC would be granted unprecedented jurisdiction over family farms and ranches, hindering 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 Lucas. “The SEC is an independent financial regulator, whose statutory authority reflects its narrow focus on financial markets- not reconstructing America’s farm economy and meddling in capital allocation.”
The Protect Farmers from the SEC Act 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 a farm
- Define the production, manufacturing, or harvesting of an agricultural product through the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, outline upstream and downstream activities, and define greenhouse gases
- Remove the SEC’s authority concerning this act
Those in the agriculture industry commend the bill. “American pig farmers remain committed to transparency and constant improvement in climate-related matters which is demonstrated by the industry shrinking their GHG footprint by over 21 percent over the last three decades,” Terry Wolters, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) president, said. “We applaud Congressman Lucas for a bill that would protect all farmers from the added layers of reporting requirements and costs associated with the proposed rule.”
Read the bill here.