WATCH: NLPC Calls Out Harmful ‘Green’ Policies at Deere Annual Meeting

On Wednesday, National Legal and Policy Center presented a “Customer and Company Sustainability Congruency Report” proposal at Deere & Company‘s annual shareholder meeting, which would require the company to explain its support of greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy investments, and how they align with the ongoing viability of the primary industries the company serves: agriculture, forestry, and construction/mining.

Deere’s board of directors opposed our proposal, as explained on pages 93-95 of the company’s proxy statement. NLPC’s response to the Deere’s board’s opposition statement was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early February.

Speaking at the meeting as sponsor of the resolution was Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project. A transcript of his three-minute remarks follows:

I’m Paul Chesser with National Legal and Policy Center.


More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grows bigger and healthier crops, faster.


More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes trees grow faster.


Healthier forests store more carbon dioxide than they release.


So what does Deere and Company have against carbon dioxide?


Why does the company wage war against the vast majority of the agriculture, forestry and construction industries that buy its hydrocarbon-fueled equipment?


I was disappointed to see the Board of Directors lie to shareholders in the proxy statement, when they said that Deere’s “sustainability reports already contain the information requested by the proposal.”


That is a lie, because when Deere’s top lawyer told the Securities and Exchange Commission the exact same thing, the SEC said “Oh no you didn’t” already include the information in your reports.


As a result, the SEC made the Company keep our Proposal in today’s meeting.


Unfortunately, the shareholders who are only now learning they were lied to by the Company, will have almost no time to change their votes, if they so desire.


That’s not the only thing the Company has misled shareholders about.


As part of Deere’s “Leap Ambitions” marketing scheme, the Company intends to deliver more than 20 electric and hybrid equipment models by 2026 (p. 7).


That’s right, in only two years from now!


Deere also plans an electric option in each Turf and Compact Utility Tractor product family.


And finally, Deere plans a fully autonomous, battery-powered electric ag tractor by 2026.


Mr. May, are you paying attention to the disaster going on with electric vehicles in the United States?


They are piling up on dealer lots because nobody wants them – even with massive tax breaks and financial incentives to buy them.


Mercedes Benz just scrapped their plans to make electric-only vehicles.


And after spending billions of dollars to develop its own EV, Apple – the first or second largest company in the world – has thrown in the towel on EVs.


Ford and GM are also scaling back their EV plans big-time, even with all that money sitting out there from the ridiculously-named Inflation Reduction Act.


Is Deere in this subsidy-chasing game too?


Is that what “Leap Ambitions” are really all about?


Ford, which lost about $65,000 on each EV it sold last year, just halted shipments of the heavy-duty F-150 Lightning.


Heavy vehicles, built to carry and tow heavy loads, require extremely heavy batteries, to have any worthwhile power and range at all.


Do you think extremely heavy, low range electric tractors will be any different?


I’d say good luck with that, but I don’t think even luck can overcome the science of energy physics.


Please vote FOR Proposal number 4.

Read NLPC’s shareholder proposal for Deere & Company here.

Read NLPC’s report filed at the SEC in support of its proposal here.




Tags: climate change, Deere and Company, electric vehicles, greenhouse gases, renewable energy, shareholder activism