January 30, 2023

The NCBA commended Senators Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Braun (R-Indiana) for supporting the bill that 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 the burden on ranchers by requiring data that cannot be provided,” said Mary-Thomas Hart, NCBA chief counsel. “The NCBA is proud to support the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act because it ensures federal agencies do not exceed their jurisdiction and it protects ranchers from additional government red tape. We thank Senators Boozman and Braun for their focus on this issue,” the NCBA said in a press release.

In particular, 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). Additionally, according to a press release from Senator Lucas (R-Oklahoma), in many – if not most – circumstances, a registrant would need to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain (Scope 3).

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

R-CALF USA agrees SEC law is dangerous for ranchers. “It enables multinational meat packers to measure the production practices of individual producers through reporting requirements, and once those measurements are in place, the multinational meat packers can begin to exert even greater control over America’s cattle farms and ranches. This is almost indistinguishable from what the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef began years ago with its efforts to measure the production practices of independent ranchers through “voluntary” reporting. And that’s why we are so vehemently opposed to the GRSB. The SEC bill is essentially the second phase of the GRSB as it now seeks to add a government mandate. We remain opposed to both and therefore support the exclusion of the livestock industry from the SEC law,” said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA.

USCA member Rene Crispin of Oklahoma recently had the opportunity to address this issue on RFD-TV. The proposed SEC rule would require every producer that feeds, manufactures or raises livestock or grows crops to report all greenhouse gas emissions from every product that eventually makes its way to a publicly traded company.

Crispin said the proposed rule would create a mountain of paperwork, especially for stockers and feeders like him, who often buy a few pieces at a time from auction markets in 6-8 states or more. “You can imagine the amount of paperwork involved in trying to trace these calves back to their owners,” he said.

He pointed out that many goods and services “lose their identity” when they are used – such as medicines, transport, feed etc. “We would need to have downstream reports from these people. He also pointed out that it would obviously not be financially feasible for smaller producers to have to measure and test livestock greenhouse gas emissions on their farms.

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

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