Archive for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Farmers may wind up paying for gas produced by their cows

Melvin and Joyce Williams, of MJ Ranch in rural Douglas County, are opposed to a “cow tax,” a fee that could apply to farms with livestock operations that emit more than 100 tons of carbon emissions in a year. Cattle produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to global warming, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

Melvin and Joyce Williams, of MJ Ranch in rural Douglas County, are opposed to a “cow tax,” a fee that could apply to farms with livestock operations that emit more than 100 tons of carbon emissions in a year. Cattle produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to global warming, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

February 10, 2009

It’s a stinky notion for farmers.

Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could end up costing them money if the federal government decides to charge fees for animals that pollute the air.

The suggestion has some area farmers turning up their noses.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Joyce Williams, of MJ Ranch, 3105 Wild Horse Road. “That would eliminate agriculture in our country almost, if all animals were taxed. We can’t do that; it’s just almost unthinkable.”

The cow tax is a possible consequence of an Environmental Protection Agency report following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that greenhouse gases from motor vehicles amount to air pollution, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.

According to the agricultural organization, the provisions of the EPA’s Clean Air Act report would require farms and ranches to pay an annual fee of about $175 for every dairy cow, $87.50 for every head of beef cattle and $20 for every hog.

“That’s quite hefty,” said Debbie Yarnell, of Homespun Hill Farm, 137 East 1400 Road in Baldwin City. “It would sure make me think twice about getting out of the business.”

The fee would apply to farms with livestock operations that emit more than 100 tons of carbon emissions in a year, which, based on federal agriculture department figures, would include those with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs, the AFBF said.

While cows can convert otherwise unusable plant materials into fiber and food, their digestive system also produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to global warming, the EPA said.

“That’s just a process of nature,” said Melvin Williams from his pasture northeast of Lawrence.

His wife, Joyce, said there’s no way to objectively measure cow flatulence.

“I bet if you walk over there behind our cows you’ll see some poop, but you’re not going to hear a lot of gas,” Joyce Williams said with a laugh.

The EPA briefly mentions “raising livestock” in its report on ways to regulate greenhouse gases. But EPA officials insist the lengthy, highly technical report, which mostly focuses on other sources of air pollution, does not include a proposal to tax livestock.

In a statement to the Journal-World, Catherine Milbourn, senior press officer for the federal organization, said the EPA doesn’t have a time frame for taking action.

Comments

Bloggerboo 5 years, 6 months ago

If this isn't the most asinine thing I have ever heard, I don't know what is.

Exactly what good would it do for the environment and global warming if we tax farmers? Will the cows suddenly stop farting? Will the monies from the tax suddenly stop global warming? Hell no. It is just another way for someone like Al Gore to make money.

Liberals, enjoy reaping what you have sown with your cries of global warming. Al Gore is a tremendous blowhard, and by these standards, should be taxed far more than farmers with cows. God knows he spews more hot air than anyone else the planet has ever seen. It might be criminal what he has done.

I'll always knew people were idiots, and here's the proof.

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greyghost 5 years, 6 months ago

Bloggerpoo says: "I'll always knew people were idiots, and here's the proof." greyghost says: "(laughing too hard to say anything)"

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