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Friday, December 5, 2008

Farmers Resist "Cow Tax"

Associated Press: Proposed Fee on Smelly Cows, Hogs Angers Farmers, by Bob Johnson:

For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.

Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which is one of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.

"This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do," said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal

 It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

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Comments

There's plenty of gas coming out of the mouths of Washington politicians and bureaucrats.

Let's tax them, instead.

Posted by: Patrick | Dec 5, 2008 10:19:48 AM

We can't afford to stop at cows, cattle and hogs as ants farting is a major problem. What this means is that all property owners with more than 500 ants on site should also be paying a tax.

We must combat global warming, oops I mean climate change.

Posted by: Jalaluddin Morris | Dec 5, 2008 11:41:21 AM

Ants also fart, so we should also tax all property owners with 500 or more ants on site. Humans fart so perhaps they should be culled, starting with politicians.

We must combat global warming, oops, climate change.

Posted by: Jalaluddin Morris | Dec 5, 2008 11:46:02 AM

I understand that they've also threatened Uncle Bob with a similar assessment when he goes to El Fenix.

I think it's called the "Pull My Finger Tax".

Posted by: Fow Cart | Dec 5, 2008 12:37:12 PM

This cost would, of course, simply be passed on to consumers. So if you eat meat, expect prices to rise. It's a tax on us.

Posted by: Duran | Dec 5, 2008 12:56:44 PM

Meh!

Posted by: The Cheat | Dec 5, 2008 12:59:50 PM

I think this is probably one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Posted by: Justme | Dec 5, 2008 1:12:18 PM

Cars powered by cow farts? Check it out.

http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1864/

Posted by: 2sense | Dec 5, 2008 1:26:10 PM

Actually there is a significant amount of methane released by cattle, and as such they are a source of greenhouse gases. If we're going to tax emissions as a way to reduce greenhouse gases then this is actually quite reasonable.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 5, 2008 2:16:11 PM

The AP's coverage of the proposed rule smacks of bias. The article fails to cite the science behind such regulation, which clearly supports aggressive limits on methane releases. Methane packs at least 4x the greenhouse punch of CO2. Currently there is zero regulation of agricultural releases. It is no coincidence that the nations of the world will be discussing this very topic at the climate change summit in Copenhagen next year.

I also fail to see how farmers can claim such a regulation will drive them out of business. The vast majority of the permit costs will pass on to consumers, and while rising food costs are never welcome, they beat the heck out of the costs associated with mitigating climate change.

This article quotes PETA, a fringe viewpoint at best. The EPA did not propose this rule to promote vegetarianism, but to combat climate change. Putting such an extreme viewpoint out as the rationale for a policy is reckless journalism.

Posted by: James | Dec 5, 2008 3:15:38 PM

the animal flatulence is heavy in methane, which is a much stronger green house gas than CO2. Since it goes into the air, which is a public good, and has compounding effects on the atmosphere, a fee should be charged.

It will be passed onto consumers, and therefore we as consumers can make better spending decisions when the true cost of production of our milk, steaks, and bacon are reflected.

I by no means am going to stop eating steak, drinking milk, or enjoying delicious bacon. I DO, however, think it's methane production should be taxed.....especially because I always hear the "methane argument" as to why I should be vegan.

Posted by: David | Dec 5, 2008 3:52:42 PM

if the methane is the problem why dont we have someone standing behind the cows with a lighter, cow farts, methane gets burned up by lighter, problem solved.

i swear, someone should elect me as president. ha

Posted by: blades | Dec 5, 2008 3:52:56 PM

this is ridiculous, if there gonna taxing animals, they should tax all the fat and gaseous ppl around the US! That makes up 99% leaving those who dont have asses!

Posted by: anonymous | Dec 5, 2008 4:05:04 PM

This just in... milk $75.00 a gallon.

Posted by: Insane | Dec 5, 2008 4:13:50 PM

I could get rich selling beano for cows and gas x for politicians.

Posted by: | Dec 5, 2008 5:31:47 PM

Sounds great except... Most farmers don't get to choose the price of what they can sell their product at. This is great if you are a manufacturer, but the market is actually decided for the farmer, that is unless the farmer is also a pork or beef processing plant which does get to choose more of how much the price of the cuts are before they end up on the shelf of your local market.

Who ever thought up this rule is a complete moron. Most Farmers are lucking to get $20 profit per head of hog, or $75 per head of cow.

Perhaps you should consider taxing the automobiles a bit more as they are more of a problem then cows ever will be.

Posted by: | Dec 5, 2008 6:18:01 PM

We should spay and neuter all people who think this is a reasonable proposal. It could be a litmus test for being able to breed.

Posted by: Dems | Dec 6, 2008 1:20:44 AM

If you've ever visited farm country, you know that the air quality is better than that of Los Angeles, despite the stench of poop. Clearly cow farts are not the real problem here. Combat climate change in other places that will be more effective. There is obviously another motive here, and while most of us could probably use a little less beef and dairy in our diets, this would not do the trick. It would most likely raise the price of meat considerably, possibly causing more meat to be imported. Just what our economy needs! More $ going overseas.

Posted by: James | Dec 6, 2008 3:55:11 AM

It would be funny, if it wasn't so devastating, to see how rich people living in cities of fully developed countries are more than willing to make everyone pay more for energy and food. You tax something if you want less of it. The leader of the IPCC, Pachauri, is a vegetarian, and he has spoken of people reducing their consumption of meat. To assuage their guilt, many environmentalists are joining this chorus. To prevent a hypothetical few degrees temperature change in 100 years, they are willing to pursue policies that will end up causing more poverty and starvation in the porest developing countries. Shouldn't we care for those people with problems today and not use this mythical global warming as a ruse to pass restrictive policies? By the way, 2008 is realized as the coldest year this decade, until next year. CO2 and methane did not reduce this year.

Posted by: Peter | Dec 6, 2008 11:23:14 AM

The folks above who think taxing flatulent cows is sound economic policy should turn off their environmentally insensitive computers and go pound two rocks together. Luddites.

Posted by: Jake | Dec 6, 2008 11:11:26 PM

Someone previously mentioned the profit associated with one head of cattle...around $100. As it stands if a farmer has to call a vet he probably will lose all profit on the cow, and can only hope to make enough to cover the costs of raising the cow.

The United States is only home to 10% of the worlds cattle population.(Percentage of Livestock in the US?)

Cattle Population Worldwide
(India nearly 30%, Brazil 20%, China 15%)

Even if we cut our cattle methane emmissions in half, what kind of outcome could you expect? And at what costs?

Posted by: Chris | Dec 7, 2008 6:57:26 PM

My computer is powered by 100% renewable energy. And if you think banishing to the stone age people who don't want the weather to suck when it comes time to retire (e.g., the Gulf Coast may be too plagued with hurricanes as to make the area unsuitable for anyone's golden years) is sound environmental policy, then you should go jump in a lake.

Posted by: | Dec 7, 2008 8:31:00 PM

What are you people talking about this tax is brilliant! People who eat the kind of junk meat that this tax would render more expensive are usually citizent who require more public health care spending. Let them internalize the costs of their own fat asses!

Posted by: matt | Dec 8, 2008 10:53:11 AM

Ladies and Gents:

This is not the solution to any of our problems. Overpopulation IS the problem. Maybe we should start taxing human life.... Less people, less need for food, less farting cows ( and hopefully less idiotic politicians )

The cowboys had it right when they all but destroyed the buffalo population....they saw this coming long before any of us...those dastardly buffalos, farting and creating greenhouse gas....how dare they?

Posted by: michael | Dec 8, 2008 12:33:38 PM

the whole idea is ludicrous, taxing the farmers will not affect the production of methane by the cows . . . the farmers can't stop the cows from farting. what this WILL cause is prices to go up, in the middle of a recession, because of said tax . . . which will, in turn, drive more people into poverty.

the overall effect of this is the government gets more $, and then, because more people are in poverty, the government also has more power . . .

there is no ecological basis for this argument, only economical and political ones, and where it's a good political decision (for a country slowly attempting to wrest more and more power away from its subjects), it is a VERY bad economical decision, doing very little but making the current recession worse.

Posted by: Mikal | Dec 8, 2008 9:44:26 PM

If we are going after the big farters, why not an extra tax on beer and mexican food? Now there are some big flatulence causers

Posted by: JHelynG | Dec 11, 2008 4:57:25 PM

Methane Taxes on farmers would kill the farms in this country, and the county that can not feed it self is doom to fall. Any fool who thinks taxes is a good idea should remember this.

The American farms products helps feed this world, the reason this tax is being put on the farmers is because they a smaller group and will not have the political clout to stop it.

If you want to put the tax on anything put on the food at the Grocery store call it an environmental tax make its own tax on the receipt.

My mistake most people would screen Bloody murder and tax would not make it.
The Government put this tax on the Farmer because it is easier to pass and they the Government is not too blamed when there are complaints about the cost of food. The farmer or the evil Grocery store owners that sell the food are the problem

Second once this taxes on the farmer are in place meat consumes will go down because of the cost.

But guess what other counties that do not have this Taxes will import there beef here
More lost Jobs in the United States lost, great plan!!!

The Federal Government Has one main job Protect the Freedoms of the American people.

You do not do that by taxing people out of Business.

Posted by: david cox | Dec 26, 2008 3:17:39 PM

They should tax the idiot who came up with this for talking, thats were the crap is coming from.

Posted by: Zack | Dec 26, 2008 3:17:39 PM