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Cow tax proposal on ‘methane emissions’ would threaten agriculture and push carbon tax
Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation
November 19, 2008
“With the economy in bad shape and the possibility of a deep recession looming, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to levy new taxes—on cows and pigs,” American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Regulatory Relations Rick Krause told Wyoming Farm Bureau members at their annual meeting. Krause spoke in Sheridan on Nov. 7.
“This is no laughing matter,” Krause said. “The cow tax and the pig tax are parts of a larger scheme by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”
“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,” Krause explained.
Krause explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that a producer with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would emit more than 100 tons of carbon and be subject to the permitting requirements. “These thresholds would impact 99 percent of dairy producers, over 90 percent of beef producers and 95 percent of hog producers in the United States,” Krause stated.
According to Krause, the EPA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in preparation to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). “The regulation of automobile emissions automatically initiates other provisions of the CAA,” Krause explained. “One of those provisions requires permits from anyone who emits more than 100 tons of a regulated pollutant per year and there are millions of sources that emit more than 100 tons of carbon.”
The Title V permits, that are essentially a cow and pig tax, are supposed to contain provisions designed to reduce or eliminate the emissions of the regulated pollutant. “Cows and pigs methane emissions come from natural and biological processes,” Krause stated.
“The economic costs to producers from the cow and pig tax would be great and could cause the cost of beef, pork and dairy prices to rise,” Krause continued. “The cow and pig tax would impose severe penalties on livestock producers in the United States without effectively reducing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.”
The comment deadline for the cow and pig tax is Nov. 28. Visit www.wyfb.org to find the link for information.
In other national issues, Krause addressed endangered species issues, including the wolf.
“I remember back in 1993 we were talking about how they will continue to change the numbers of wolves required,” Krause said. “Unfortunately, our assumption was accurate and even though there are five times more packs than needed for recovery, it has come down to a federal judge in Montana.”
“They are arguing there is no genetic exchange,” He said. “Well, the whole reason in the first place they were introduced is because they could not get here on their own. How are you going to have genetic interchange?”
“So what are we going to expect from the Endangered Species Act in the next four years?” Krause asked. “While only time will tell, we can expect no amendments to the ESA as those who are opposed to common sense management will work to keep it as is.”
The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. Members work together from the grassroots to develop agricultural policy, programs and services to enhance the rural lifestyle of Wyoming.
Contact: Ken Hamilton, Executive Vice President, 307-721-7712, firstname.lastname@example.org
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