Farm Groups Encourage SEC to Amend Proposed Rule

The American Farm Bureau Federation and ten other agriculture groups submitted comments to the Securities Exchange Commission late last week regarding its proposed climate disclosure rule. Andrew Walmsley, AFBF senior director of government affairs, says the groups provided technical documents outlining concerns and recommendations.

“Traditionally, SEC is concerned about large companies that you would associate with Wall Street. But what the SEC has proposed through the scope three reporting requirements could touch every farmer and rancher in this country, as it’s requiring those large companies to report emissions from suppliers from downstream and upstream, and that would capture many small, medium and large farmers.”

Walmsley says the rule would require burdensome record keeping as well as create liability concerns and data privacy concerns.

“We don’t think the SEC, when they proposed this rule, really thought through the implications and costs and burdens that would be put on rural America. And so, we’re encouraging them through this rulemaking process to reevaluate this rule and take our concerns to heart and propose a better rule that provides information that is useful to shareholders, but it does not create undue burdens on agriculture.”

The comments include a list of recommendations that better serve farmers and ranchers.

“So, our technical comments laid out some options for the agency, the easiest of which would be to scrap the scope three idea. We will continue to engage with SEC as they work through this rulemaking and encourage farmers and ranchers to reach out to their members of Congress. Those folks are ultimately accountable to the American public and have oversight with the SEC. I encourage your voice to be shared with your member of Congress or U.S. Senator.”

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