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A close-up look at climate rule politics

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Mar 19, 2024
Sen. Jon Tester

Tester in September. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Jon Tester's intervention against the SEC's more aggressive proposed rule showed how the politics around the regulation will play out.

Why it matters: In opposing the proposal, Tester snubbed climate activists and notched a big win for a key constituency in his state ahead of a difficult re-election.

Driving the news: Tester is taking credit for stopping the SEC from finalizing its supply chain emissions disclosure requirement — known as Scope 3 — which the agency dropped in its final climate disclosure rule released this month.

  • Tester and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, citing impacts on farms and ranches, objected to Scope 3 via a comment letter in January.
  • "I'm proud to have declared this requirement dead on arrival and to have fought every step of the way to stop it in its tracks," the senator said in a statement.
  • That could make for interesting political dynamics if the Senate votes on a GOP-led CRA resolution to overturn the rule.

What they're saying: "I certainly hope folks realize that they did the tough thing of diving into a difficult rule, taking the time to learn what the consequences could've been, and stepping out to become leaders," said Travis Cushman, deputy general counsel at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Zoom in: Companies up and down the food supply chain loathe Scope 3 requirements, saying they're too onerous for small businesses.

  • The Farm Bureau is suing California over its state-level Scope 3 disclosure mandate.

The other side: The Center for American Progress, a group founded by White House climate czar John Podesta, disputed the notion that SEC's Scope 3 effort would've been a death knell for farmers.

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