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SDCA Fights Onerous Securities and Exchange Commission's Climate Rule

The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA) submitted comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) controversial greenhouse gas disclosure rule. 

The rule would require publicly traded companies to report direct emissions in addition to emissions from all segment of their supply chain. The rule's broad scope would burden cattle producers and require the reporting of farm or ranch level emissions data. There is currently no way to accurately measure this data on the individual level and estimates would expose producers to legal liability. 

"Beef producers have and continue to make strides in understanding the complexities of the environment they live in and continue to improve their farming and ranching practices to work in harmony with the environment," said SDCA President Eric Jennings. "The final rule proposed by the SEC would require us to provide information that we currently are unable to accurately measure in the name of climate benefits." 

The SDCA also joined NCBA in their technical comments that were filed in response to the rule. Comments filed with the SEC call for the agency to limit the scope of the rule to only direct emissions from publicly traded companies. The SEC is a Wall Street regulator and this attempt to regulate private farms and ranches is a massive overreach of the agency's authority. 

"Cattle farmers and ranchers are America's original conservationists. Thanks to decades of innovation and continuous improvement, cattle production accounts for just 2% of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions," said NCBA Environmental Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. "Cattle producers have a proven track record of sustainable practices and should not be penalized with overreaching rules from an agency with no expertise in agriculture." 

Additionally, industry-wide emissions data is already collected through the EPA's annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory and U.S. Department of Agriculture Lifecyle Assessments. In comments, SDCA and NCBA urged the SEC to rely on these existing metrics rather than place a burdensome mandate on individual cattle producers. 

A grass roots letter campaign organized through the NCBA generated comments from across the nation including 17 South Dakota producers echoing those concerns. 

For more information about the SDCA, how to become a member, or the latest state and industry news, visit our website at sdcattlemen.org, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

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