Lawmakers from both parties say the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed ESG law will leave small farms in limbo

First on the fox – More than 100 House members of both parties are attacking a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that they say would place “unworkable” regulatory requirements on small farms.

In a speech led by Rep. Lawmakers John Rose, Tennessee, said a proposed law to “enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures to investors” could prevent farmers from working with public companies.

In all, 118 members of the House of Representatives signed the letter, including two Democrats in swing counties. Elisa Slotkin, D-Mitch, and Elaine Luria. D-Va.

“To do business with public companies, small farms will be required to disclose a great deal of climate information,” the letter to SEC President Gary Gensler said. “But unlike the big companies, the small farms don’t have extensive compliance departments.”

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“It is not within the SEC’s mandate to regulate farmers and ranchers, which this rule would do by requiring public companies to disclose emissions of greenhouse gases (Scope 3),” the members added.

re \ come back. John Rose, a Republican from Tennessee, is lobbying the Securities and Exchange Commission on a proposed rule that he and more than 100 other House lawmakers say would effectively prevent American farmers from working with public companies. (Rep. Rose campaign) (Rose campaign member/Fox News)

The proposed rule is part of a recent trend around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, in which investors evaluate those criteria in addition to standard statements about business performance.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the proposed rule in question “requires registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, including information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results, operations or conditions.” Finance”.

re \ come back.  Elisa Slotkin, D-Mitch.

re \ come back. Elisa Slotkin, D-Mitch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

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“I am pleased to support today’s proposal because, if adopted, it would provide investors with consistent, comparable and useful information for making their investment decisions,” Gensler said in a statement issued in March when the rule was proposed.

The US Farm Bureau Federation, which supports the message led by Rose, says farmers and ranchers will not be subject to reporting climate information directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Farm Bureau said requiring companies to report “Scope 3” greenhouse gas emissions, both upstream and downstream in their supply chains, would effectively force farmers and ranchers to track that data.

Representative Eileen Loria

re \ come back. Eileen Luria, VA, during a town hall at New Hope Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Thursday, October 3, 2019. (Parker Michael Boyce for The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Therefore, the Securities and Exchange Commission will effectively ban farmers and ranchers from engaging with key sectors of the US economy unless they spend significant time and resources tracking environmental data, according to the Farm Bureau.

The letter stated that, “Washington, D.C. bureaucrats – specifically unelected SEC employees – who have no jurisdiction over environmental policy and who have never set foot on a farm, should have no such influence over how farmers tend their land.” “.

“The time and effort expended in complying with this new regulation will divert American farmers away from their primary goal of producing food, fuel and fiber for our country,” she continued.

SEC Gary Gensler

Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), testifies during a Senate hearing on September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Bill Clark/Paul/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)


The letter also cited privacy concerns and criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its brief comment period on the rule. Lawmakers urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to “repeal this rule entirely.”

“It is clear that the Securities and Exchange Commission has overstepped its bounds and proposed a rule that would have devastating effects on our farmers,” Rose said in a statement. “They should listen to farmers and reverse this terrible proposal before jeopardizing our entire national supply of safe and affordable food and agricultural products.”

Among the Republicans supporting the resolution, along with Rose, is House Agriculture Committee member Glenn Thompson, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Representatives. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, John Katko, RNY, Matt Rosendale, R-Mount, and Ashley Henson, R-Iowa.

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