Sep 19, 2022
SEC Chair says climate rule not intended to impact farmers

The climate disclosure rule – opposed by National Potato Council (NPC) and many in the agriculture community – proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this year is not intended to impact farmers or ranchers, according to SEC Chair Gary Gensler. In testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Gensler said that Scope 3 reporting requirements — such as supply chain emissions — would only apply to public companies that have pledged to reduce downstream emissions or if those emissions are expected to have a “material impact” on their businesses.

On June 17, NPC and 10 national agriculture organizations filed comments on the SEC’s controversial proposed greenhouse gas disclosure rule. As currently written, the rule would require publicly traded companies to disclose their direct emissions (Scope 1), energy/electricity consumption (Scope 2), and supply chain emissions (Scope 3). As interpreted by many in the agriculture community, the Scope 3 reporting requirements would create a burden on downstream food producers who supply publicly traded processors, restaurants, and retailers.

“SEC Chair Gensler has sought to clarify that the proposed climate rule isn’t intended to impact family farmers who have no way to track such data,” said NPC President and Washington state potato grower Jared Balcom. “He can make that intention a reality if the SEC finalizes this rule. Additionally, the qualifications he made in his statement still leave open the possibility that family farms are impacted in certain instances. Beyond the broad questions over the necessity of the SEC wading into environmental policy, the Commission can and should make it clear that family farmers will not be impacted by this climate rule.”

During the NPC 2022 Summer Meeting, the board of directors formally adopted a new policy position opposing SEC’s proposed rule, stating that this significant government regulatory overreach would severely impact family farms.

– National Potato Council


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