The high price of flatulance

This proposal is so stupid that one would expect that it must be coming from Britain. But no, it is emanating from the U.S. federal government, or more specifically their Environmental Protection Agency.

In a bizarre proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA is suggesting a tax on cows and pigs and other agricultural animals that belch and flatulate and thus add to greenhouse gas emissions.

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.

The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and “all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them.”

Sparks said Wednesday he’s worried the fee could be extended to chickens and other farm animals and cause more meat to be imported.

It is difficult for me to read the EPA proposal without thinking that there must be an agent provocateur for the animal-rights movement within the EPA.

Whether they have their fingers in the mix or not, the AR people are certainly in favour of the proposal.

“It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses,” said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“We certainly support making factory farms pay their fair share,” he said.

It would no doubt advance the AR agenda against meat by driving up the cost of meat to the consumer.

It is hard to believe that a proposal like this could ever be written into law. But sillier things have been pushed forward by bureaucracies and have found their way into legislation. The danger is that it is so silly, should it somehow proceed, the public (other than those directly affected) won’t pay any attention  to the threat, thinking that no one would be stupid enough to pass it into legislation.

That has been proven on numerous occasions to be a fallacy.

Whether or not the EPA has “taken a position” on this proposal , it needs to be killed. Not just filed away for another day, but removed from their computers, hard copies shredded, and the person(s) who came up with the idea reverted back to fetching coffee for the rational policy makers.

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