Legislation introduced to pushback against SEC rule

U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota has introduced legislation to push back against the Biden administration’s proposed rule making process.

Mary-Thomas Hart, environmental counsel at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the Food and Securities Act is intended to send a message. “This is going to indicate to the SEC, based on how many Senators co-sponsor it, what direction the Senate sees the SEC taking in this space,” Hart said. “I think it’s a broad message, not only to the SEC, but to the Biden administration.”

The Thune bill would require federal financial and securities regulators to estimate the impact of their rules on affected businesses involved in the agriculture or energy supply chains.  If rules are estimated to drive up food, energy, or gas prices, the regulators would then be prohibited from implementing the rules during times of high inflation.  

She tells Brownfield the Securities and Exchange Commission was not designed to regulate small farmers and ranchers. “But in recent years we’ve seen a trend from the SEC and from shareholders to attempt to get more and more information from those publicly traded companies’ supply chains,” Hart said.

Hart says under the SEC proposed rule, any publicly traded company that sells beef would be required to submit data to the federal government about greenhouse gas emissions from their beef supply chain. “The way they get that information would be going up and down their supply chain directly,” she said. “That presents a significant concern for farmers and ranchers.”

The bill has multiple Republican co-sponsors including Mike Braun of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, and Mike Rounds of South Dakota. 

AUDIO: Mary-Thomas Hart, environmental counsel at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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