Thune introduces Food and Energy Security Act to halt federal regulations amid inflation

Dominik Dausch
Farm Forum
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., introduced a bill this week aimed at the Biden administration that would prevent federal regulators from implementing certain rules during periods of inflation.

The proposed Food and Energy Security Act, S 4610, would require federal regulatory agencies to estimate the effect of their rules on agriculture- and energy-related businesses. It would then prohibit them from enacting the rules if the estimate indicated the price of food, electricity or fuel would rise by 4.5% or more per year.

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However, it would not affect changes made before 2022.

The measure comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rule changes in March that would require businesses to report to investors information about their greenhouse gas emissions and the indirect climate risks from the use of their products.

Thune's bill, if it becomes law, would counteract the SEC's proposal. In a news release announcing the measure, he also criticized the Environmental, Social and Governance movement, an initiative pushing corporations and businesses to meet sustainability goals and encouraging investor-awareness of climate risks, for threatening to hurt the bottom line of agricultural producers.

"Instead of focusing on ways to bring down the cost of gas, food and electricity or developing an all-of-the-above energy policy, the Biden administration continues to pursue a radical environmental agenda that threatens farmers’ and ranchers’ access to capital, increases production costs and drives up prices at the pump," Thune said in the release.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and 10 other Republican senators are co-sponsors of the bill.

Dominik Dausch is the agriculture and environment reporter for the Argus Leader and editor of Farm Forum. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @DomDNP and send news tips to ddausch@gannett.com.