U.S. Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) led a bi-partisan letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chair (SEC) Gary Gensler defending America’s farmers against a proposed new Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) regulation.
In March, the SEC proposed a new ESG rule that would require public companies to include “climate-related” disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports.
The bi-partisan letter expresses concerns about how these new regulations would negatively affect America’s farmers.
According to a statement from Rose’s office:
The proposed rule on “Enhanced and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” would require public companies to include climate-related information in their annual reports. This could potentially include disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, climate-related risks, processes for identifying climate-related risks, and other downstream supply chain information. This poses a significant threat to farms as it could prevent them from being able to sell their products to public companies as most do not have the resources necessary to gather all the information required by the proposed rule.
Rose, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, and Tennessee Farm Bureau President Eric Mayberry commented on the proposed ESG rule.
“Unelected bureaucrats in Washington who have never stepped foot on a farm should not have such an intrusive and detrimental influence on how farmers take care of their land,” Rose said. “The SEC has clearly overstepped its bounds and proposed a rule that would have devastating effects on our farmers. 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.”
“The Securities and Exchange Commission plays an important role in protecting investors, but its reach has never extended to America’s farms. The bipartisan letter sent to the SEC recognizes the proposed rule’s overreach of an agency whose mission should be focused on Wall Street,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We appreciate the lawmakers who have stepped forward to raise concerns about the proposed rule, which has the potential to significantly increase costs and uncertainty for America’s farmers and ranchers.”
“We are extremely concerned about the impact the SEC proposed rule could have on our farmers,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Eric Mayberry. “We have never been more committed to producing a safe and affordable food supply while continuing to protect our natural resources with climate-friendly, science-based smart practices, and this rule could have serious unintended consequences for our family farmers by forcing them to comply with extremely burdensome regulations they cannot afford.”
118 Republicans and Democrats signed the letter.
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