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Weekly Column: Proposed SEC Rule would Hurt Family Farms and Raise Prices on Consumers

Last week, the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which I chair, held a hearing to discuss how the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate disclosure rule would hurt farmers and small business owners while raising prices on consumers. I was honored to have my constituent, Bill Schultz, Vice President of Schultz Fruitridge Farms located in Mattawan, Michigan, testify in-person before the committee on this matter.   

During his testimony, Mr. Schultz detailed how the SEC failed to consider the real-world impact this proposed regulation would have on agriculture in general; raising costs for both family farms as well as consumers who purchase their food at the grocery store.   

Unlike publicly traded companies, many of these family farms and small businesses do not have the resources to deal with SEC regulations, let alone a dedicated legal team. Complying with this rule would be significantly more difficult and the costs would be much higher for these types of smaller operations. Additionally, the complexities of farming, such as weather events, pests, and diseases, create hurdles that would complicate the process even further.  

Congress created the SEC to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation—not to advance a progressive climate agenda. While the SEC asserts the proposed climate disclosure rule would cost current reporting companies roughly $10 billion a year, a recent study puts that number at closer to $25 billion. Furthermore, there is little analysis on how proposed scope 2 and scope 3 requirements – which apply to the companies’ supply chains – will impact small businesses that frankly can’t afford a compliance department.   

Family farms and small businesses are the backbone of Southwest Michigan’s economy. In my role as Chair of the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I will continue to conduct oversight on this matter to protect farmers, small business owners, and consumers alike from overly burdensome regulations.

If you need assistance navigating a federal agency, please contact my office in Holland at (616) 251-6741 or in Portage at (269) 569-8595, and sign up for my newsletter, the Huizenga Huddle, at Huizenga.House.Gov.

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