A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Tax cows, hogs for passing gas, burping?

Posted by lawman2 on January 3, 2009


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if the federal government decides to charge fees for air-polluting animals.

Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which they contend is a possible consequence of an Environmental Protection Agency report after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases amount to air pollution. Livestock emit methane, a key greenhouse gas tied to global warming.

“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 fees.

EPA officials insisted Friday that the lengthy, highly technical report, which mostly focuses on other sources of air pollution, does not include a proposal to tax livestock.

But the American Farm Bureau Federation said, based on federal agriculture department figures, 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.

“We’ll let other countries put food on our tables like they are putting gas in our cars. Other countries don’t have the health standards we have,” Sparks said.

The farm groups say the fee would apply to farms with livestock operations that emit more than 100 tons of carbon emissions in a year and fall under federal Clean Air Act provisions.

EPA officials said the agency has not taken a position on any of the matters discussed in its response to the Supreme Court ruling. And John Millett, a spokesman for EPA’s air and radiation division, said there has been an oversimplification of the EPA’s document “to the point of distortion.”

“EPA is not proposing any type of tax on livestock,” he said.

The EPA briefly mentions “raising livestock” in its report on ways to regulate greehnouse gases under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Paul Schlegel, director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it determined the possible fees that could be imposed by using Agriculture Department statistics on the amount of greenhouse gases that come from livestock and applied it to the EPA’s permitting rules.

Farmers from across the country have expressed outrage over the EPA report, both on Internet sites and in opinions sent to EPA during a public comment period that ended last week. Many call it a “cow tax” and say the EPA proposed it.

“It’s something that really has a very big potential adverse impact for the livestock industry,” said Rick Krause, the senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The fee would cover the cost of a permit for the livestock operations. While farmers say it would drive them out of business, an organization supporting the proposal hopes it forces the farms and ranches to switch to healthier crops.

“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.

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, a Republican from Haleyville in northwest Alabama, said he has spoken with EPA officials and doesn’t believe the cow tax is a serious proposal that will ever be adopted by the agency.

“Who comes up with this kind of stuff?” said Perry Mobley, director of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s beef division. “It seems there is an ulterior motive, to destroy livestock farms. This would certainly put them out of business.”


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13 Responses to “Tax cows, hogs for passing gas, burping?”

  1. Lawman2 said

    hello big socialist government intrusion into every single aspect imaginable of our lives!

    i had a very funny post on this but tothewire said it was too crued.


  2. Ron said

    good blog

    Rule by the UN and Agenda 21 needs to be fought tooth and nail or we lose everything to the state.

    Govt. of all stripes are using phony global warming and the threat of terrorism to keep us occupied while they remove all our rights.

    People are afraid of the wrong enemy.


  3. Lawman2 said

    hey there ron! added you to our blog roll! enjoyed your blog.



  4. Lawman2 said



  5. tothewire said

    Hello Ron! Welcome to our blog! I see now lawman is off Waco and on his “global warming is a lie” kick. Now we will have one of his now famous Caveman post about this…


  6. tothewire said

    Famous in his own mind…lol

    No really, I too enjoy your Caveman post Lawman!


  7. obama the antichrist said

    ahahahahaha this is so ridiculous that it makes me laugh!!!! No one will but cattle or hogs cuz they will cost too much then the beef and milk and pork industries will lose money then another bailout will come flying there way! SO, the farmers would be taxed then be given money…..ambiguous?????


  8. obama the antichrist said



  9. dorian9 said

    hey why pick on livestock? men are just as guilty. men collectively emit significant amounts of methane, contributing to global warming. especially superbowl or any play-offs time. ease up on the chili, cavemen! great picture of the cow, lawman!


  10. Mohamed said



  11. obama the antichrist said

    dorain are you talking about men as in the male gender or men as in the human race? cuz if you are picking on the male gender then i am happy to point out that there are plenty of girls who pass gas just cuz they can 🙂


  12. dorian9 said

    hello ota!! i was picking on the male gender. i guess i’ve had the pleasure(? )of being around high methane producing male family and friends!


  13. Lawman2 said

    i know a gal who passes gas in her sleep…hehehe


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