South Dakota Senator John Thune is taking aim at a Securities and Exchange Commission-proposed rule that could force farmers to keep an inventory of climate emissions. Thune argues the White House is trying to discourage firms through SEC and other agency rulemaking from investing in fossil fuels by forcing downstream reporting of climate emissions.
â€œIâ€™ve got small lenders in South Dakota, Ag banks, credit unions, that are worried that this pressureâ€™s going to extend to them, not to make loans to agricultural operations. Livestock emit methane, right?â€
So, Thune has introduced a bill to require regulatory agencies to first meet an inflation test before imposing new rules that could drive up food and fuel costs. â€œIf they would, in a period of inflation, add to inflationary pressures and raise the cost of those items, then they would be prevented from issuing those regulations.â€
Thuneâ€™s bill would ban federal regulators from implementing any rule that would increase food or energy prices if inflation is higher than 4.5 percent. Inflation topped 9-percent in Juneâ€”a four decade high.
â€œI think this legislation is something that would provide consumers some relief and prevent these overreaching, heavy-handed government regulations being imposed by agencies that are costing our American families dearly.â€
An American Farm Bureau official argued in May that the SEC rule would put a â€œhuge squeezeâ€ on small and medium-sized farms that donâ€™t have the time and money to keep track of every emission of methane or gallon of diesel used.