More than 100 House members from both parties are attacking a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that they say will put “unworkable” regulatory requirements on small farms.
In a letter led by Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., the lawmakers said a proposed rule for “Enhanced and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” could block farmers from working with public companies.
In all, 118 House members are signing the letter, including two swing-district Democrats in Reps. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and Elaine Luria. D-Va.
“To do business with public companies, small farms would be required to disclose a significant amount of climate-related information,” the letter, sent to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, read. “But unlike large corporations, small farms do not have full-scale compliance departments.”
“It is not within the purview of the SEC to regulate farmers and ranchers, which is what this rule would do by requiring public companies to disclose their Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” the members added.
The proposed rule is part of a recent trend on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, in which investors evaluate those criteria in addition to a standard data on business performance.
According to the SEC, the proposed rule in question would “require 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 of operations, or financial condition.”
The letter also cited privacy concerns and slammed the SEC for its abbreviated comment period for the rule. Lawmakers urged the SEC commissioners to “scrap this rule entirely”
“The SEC has clearly 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 putting our entire nationwide supply of safe and affordable food and agricultural products at risk.”