Regulating livestock emissions?

Sen. John Hoeven and a host of other members of Congress are asking the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection?Agency to stop their ill-conceived attempt to regulate livestock emissions as part of a larger plan to reduce methane.

How, exactly, does one regulate cow flatulence?

The EPA says cattle emissions make up 20 percent of U.S. methane emissions. EPA chief Gina McCarthy said there are no plans to regulate cow flatulence, and the EPA is banned from regulating methane emissions from livestock as part of an annual appropriations rider that expires every year. But lawmakers are still concerned that the Obama administration’s methane reduction plan will lead to attempts to penalize livestock operators through fines or other regulations.

Critics of the idea worry the EPA could target livestock operations by ordering changes to livestock feed or operation methods. Hoeven said enacting regulations of livestock emissions could cost some medium-sized dairy farms up to $22,000 a year, and medium-sized cattle farms up to $27,000 a year.

Are there really effective methods of reducing cow emissions, which would mean regulating bovine burps and flatulence??Or does the administration know it’s impossible, and is simply looking for a way to earn some needed money by slapping livestock operations with a fine or the cost of a methane permit?

The idea sounds plain silly to us, and despite McCarthy’s statements, we hope Hoeven and other lawmakers keep a sharp eye on the EPA.