‘Protect Farmers from the SEC Act’ Would Shield Ag Sector from Greenhouse Gas Reporting Scheme

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) recently rejoined the legislative fight to exempt family farmers and ranchers from burdensome greenhouse gas emissions reporting mandates proposed by the Biden administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Hyde-Smith has joined U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) in reintroducing the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act (S.391), which would exclude agriculture from proposed SEC climate disclosure rules.

“The SEC’s climate proposal is what you get when clueless bureaucrats are allowed to run amok to dream up new rules and regulations.  What the SEC is proposing would bury family farmers and ranchers under mountains of federal paperwork and red tape—all in the name of climate change.  The proposed rule is completely incompatible with the real world of running a farm or ranch,” Hyde-Smith said.

“All it takes is a basic understanding of how agriculture works to see how misguided this proposal is—particularly when it comes to the so-called ‘value chain’ rules.  The SEC can claim compliance will fall to the publicly traded corporations the SEC oversees, but the reality is it will be up to America’s family farmers and ranchers who will have to keep up with an unprecedented amount of unnecessary paperwork,” Boozman said.  “Our farmers and ranchers are struggling with record high input costs, supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, drought and other natural disasters.  Yet, the administration, with its never-ending focus on climate change, wants to bury them with reams of paperwork as well.”

The SEC’s climate disclosure proposal would require all public companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, including indirect emissions, such as using agricultural inputs that occur as part of the value chain. 

This rule would burden family farmers and ranchers with costly compliance requirements to report their activities to the companies that buy their products so that those companies can keep track of greenhouse gas emissions in order to report to the SEC.

Leading agriculture organizations including the American Farm Bureau, National Pork Producers Council, National Cotton Council, USA Rice, American Soybean Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and National Potato Council support the legislation.

U.S. Representative Michael Guest (R-Miss.) cosponsored companion legislation (HR.1018), which was introduced in the House by Representative Frank Lucas (R-Okla.).