Senators bring companion Protect Farmers from the SEC Act

NCBA praised Senators Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Braun (R-Indiana) for sponsoring the bill which would exclude agriculture from scope 3, or supply chain, greenhouse gas emissions under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate disclosure rule.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission’s overly broad rulemaking has the potential to increase burdens on cattle producers by requiring data that is impossible to provide,” said NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “NCBA is proud to support the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act because it ensures that federal regulators do not overstep their jurisdiction and it protects cattle producers from additional government red tape. We thank Senators Boozman and Braun for their focus on this issue,” said NCBA in a news release.

Specifically, the proposed rule requires a registrant to disclose information about its direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) and indirect emissions from purchased electricity or other forms of energy (Scope 2). In addition, a registrant would be required to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain (Scope 3) under many – if not most – circumstances, according to a Senator Lucas (R-Oklahoma) news release.

Lucas introduced the original bill in the Senate to exempt farmers and ranchers from the SEC rule.

R-CALF USA agrees that the SEC Act is dangerous to cattle producers. “It empowers multinational meatpackers to begin measuring the production practices of individual producers through reporting requirements, and once those measurements are obtained the multinational packers can begin exerting even greater control over America’s cattle farms and ranches. This is nearly indistinguishable from what the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef started years ago through its efforts to measure production practices of independent livestock producers through ‘voluntary,’ reporting. And that’s why we oppose the GRSB so vehemently. The SEC Act is essentially the second phase of the GRSB in that it now attempts to add a government mandate.  We continue to oppose both and, therefore, support the exclusion of the live cattle industry from the SEC Act,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

USCA member Rene Crispin of Oklahoma had the chance to address this issue on RFD-TV recently. The proposed SEC rule would require any producer who feeds, finishes or raises cattle, or grows grain, to report all greenhouse gas emissions from any product that eventually finds its way to a publicly traded company.

Crispin said the proposed rule would create a mountain of paperwork, especially for stockers and feeders such as himself who often buy a few head at a time from auction markets across 6-8 states of more. “You can imagine the amount of paperwork as we try to track those calves to their owners,” he said.

He pointed out that many goods and services “lose their identity” when used – such as pharmaceuticals, transportation, feedstuffs, etc. “We’d have to have downstream reporting from those individuals. He also pointed out that it would obviously not be financially feasible for smaller producers to have to measure and test greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock on their operations.

“This (the SEC rule) would eliminate small producers. It would jeopardize national food security and damage rural communities,” said Crispin.