Tennessee U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty touted his participation on Saturday in a letter signed by more than 30 senators to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, pushing back against a proposed Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) regulation that would harm America’s farmers.
The proposed rule is entitled, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.”
In a tweet, Hagerty said, “A proposed rule from the SEC would place unworkable climate disclosure regulations on farmers, ranchers & agriculture producers. Pleased to join @SenJohnHoeven & @SenatorTimScott in calling on the SEC to rescind the overreaching proposal that would burden the ag industry.”
Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Scott spearheaded the letter, which was released on June 10.
The more than 30 senators expressed their displeasure at the pending rule, saying, “We write to express our concerns regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule on ‘Enhance[ment] and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.’ In particular, we have serious concerns regarding the SEC’s regulatory overreach, as well as the impact that this proposed rule will have on the agricultural industry. As such, we urge you to rescind the proposed rule.”
The letter additionally provides background on the proposed regulation.
“On March 21, 2022, the SEC issued a proposed rule that would require publicly traded companies (SEC registrants) to include financially immaterial climate change disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. Specifically, the proposed rule requires SEC registrants to disclose information about their direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased electricity or other forms of energy (Scope 2), and, if found to be material to investors, greenhouse gas emissions from all activities in its value chain (Scope 3),” it said.
“While farmers and ranchers have never been subject to SEC oversight, the proposed rule’s Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirement would place a major reporting burden on the many agricultural producers that provide raw products to the value-chain. This substantial reporting requirement would significantly burden small, family-owned farms with a new, complex and unreasonable compliance requirement, resulting in costly additional compliance expenses, reduced access to new business opportunities, and potential consolidation in the agriculture industry,” it added.
In addition to Hagerty, Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rick Scott (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Todd Young (R-IN), John Boozman (R-AR), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) all signed the document opposing the regulation.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, Truth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Bill Hagerty” by United States Congress. Background Photo “Farmer” by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.