(2/6/09 – NY Times) Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), stated that it might tax cows in an effort to curb methane and other greenhouse gases. It has since backed down from any greenhouse gas regulation on the livestock industry.
“Under the proposal, if a state charged the “presumptive minimum rate” from the EPA, the cow tax would be $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and a little more than $20 per pig,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Regulatory Relations Rick Krause.
This could have limited the number of cows which farms have, raised the price on meat and dairy products, or put weaker farms out of business.
Perhaps this wasn’t the perfect proposal, but I would’ve liked to see something, anything done to limit the impact of greenhouse gases from livestock. While it doesn’t make me glad to see farms struggling or put out of business, it’s like seeing a hummer dealership fail. Businesses or farms will need to adapt.
If the government wants people to believe that global warming is as serious of an issue as scientists are telling us, no sector of the economy should be immune to reform and regulation.
Here are some interesting comments from the Times blog post:
Sigh…the ranchers don’t have to do anything?
At least we should make them fund the research into better feed to reduce the methane. I have still yet to hear if grass fed beef emits less methane.
– Mark, Dallas