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Author Topic: Obama to Introduce Cow Fart Tax  (Read 3134 times)
frenger
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« on: January 06, 2009, 04:48:42 am »
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http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081230165231.aspx

EPA 'Cow Tax' Could Charge $175 per Dairy Cow to Curb Greenhouse Gases
Farm Bureau warns just this one rule may increase milk production costs up to 8 cents a gallon.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
1/5/2009 3:55:30 PM

Call this one of the newest and innovative ways your government has come up with to battle greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Indirectly it could be considered a cheeseburger tax, but one of the suggestions offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act is to levy a tax on livestock.

 

The ANPR, released early this year, would give the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas for not only greenhouse gas from manmade sources like transportation and industry, but also “stationary” sources which would include livestock.

 

The New York Farm Bureau assigned a price tag to the cost of greenhouse gas regulation by the EPA in a release last month.

 

“The tax for dairy cows could be $175 per cow, and $87.50 per head of beef cattle. The tax on hogs would upwards of $20 per hog,” the release said. “Any operation with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would have to obtain permits.”

 

Kate Galbraith, correspondent for The New York Times, noted on the Times’ “Green Inc.” blog that such a “proposal is far from being enacted” and that the “hysteria may be premature.”

 

But Rick Krause, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau, warned it’s certainly feasible – especially based on the rhetoric of President-elect Barack Obama and the use of the EPA to combat global warming. Such action by an Obama administration would take an act of Congress for livestock to be exempt.

 

“The new president has been on record as saying that he really supports regulating greenhouse gases out of the Clean Air Act,” Krause said to the Business & Media Institute. “So, we really have to keep an eye on it. Legislation would really be the only way to exempt it at this point – the cow tax.”

 

Krause said it is difficult to quantify the cost that might be passed directly to the consumer by farmers from the legislation, but predicted it would mean higher costs for dairy production.

 

“It’s hard to figure what it would do to consumer prices since farmers, unlike other industries, really can’t pass their cost along directly like utilities and things do,” “About the only thing we could realistically come up, in terms of any of this stuff – it would add between 7 and 8 cents per gallon of milk costs to farmers. So it would cost them 7 or 8 cents more to produce a gallon of milk.”

 

Even the Department of Agriculture warned the EPA that smaller farms and ranches would have difficulty with limits as much as 100 tons annually on emissions:

 

“If GHG emissions from agricultural sources are regulated under the CAA, numerous farming operations that currently are not subject to the costly and time-consuming Title V permitting process would, for the first time, become covered entities. Even very small agricultural operations would meet a 100-tons-per-year emissions threshold. For example, dairy facilities with over 25 cows, beef cattle operations of over 50 cattle, swine operations with over 200 hogs, and farms with over 500 acres of corn may need to get a Title V permit. It is neither efficient nor practical to require permitting and reporting of GHG emissions from farms of this size. Excluding only the 200,000 largest commercial farms, our agricultural landscape is comprised of 1.9 million farms with an average value of production of $25,589 on 271 acres. These operations simply could not bear the regulatory compliance costs that would be involved.”
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Ernest
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 06:02:10 pm »

Methane is a fairly powerful greenhouse gas, and there would be health benefits to discouraging meat consumption.  Doubtful that it would be do much, but it wouldn't be that difficult a tax to collect.  Swine and beef cattle could be taxed at the slaughterhouse.  Self slaughtered pigs and cows are a small enough portion of production that letting them slip through this loophole wouldn't be a problem unless the tax rate got ridiculously high in relation to the underlying value of the meat so as to cause people to try to bypass slaughterhouses to avoid the tax.  Dairy cattle could be "taxed" by reducing the amount of price support given to milk

That said, trying to use the Clean Air Act to target greenhouse gases is the wrong approach.
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 06:10:41 pm »
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I seem to recall that Ronald Reagan was laughed at by the lefties for pointing out that the noxious gasses produced by livestock relative to manufacting.

Now the loonies are trying to use regulations to tax the world to death.

The least they can do is apologize.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 01:27:26 am »
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Up to 8 cents a gallon? That's some serious oodles of money.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 01:30:08 am »
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Livestock are, I believe, the number one source of greenhouse gases in the world. We tax gas more currently. Makes sense to tax it at least a little.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 09:38:25 pm »
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Livestock are, I believe, the number one source of greenhouse gases in the world
Livestock produce more than cars, but I think volcanos are number one.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 09:52:26 pm »
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As silly as it sounds, this is a really important step in regulating greenhouse gasses.

If we could somehow work out a volcano tax, that would just be golden.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 10:55:16 pm »
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I hope any farmer refuses to pay this tax, or demands a 175 per cow (or other animal, whatever) further subsidy from the Government.


Everyone needs a bailout now... right?
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 10:57:22 am »
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As silly as it sounds, this is a really important step in regulating greenhouse gasses.

If we could somehow work out a volcano tax, that would just be golden.

I agree.  Attempting to tax something in the name of saving the planet is as effective as constantly raising taxes on cigarettes to cut health care costs.  Instead of wasting our time and money in trying to collect taxes on free-floating gas in a way to decrease our desire to have beef, why not try to develop a process to collect the gas and use it as a source of fuel.  That would have a greater impact on helping the environment than taxes.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 11:39:12 am »
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One major benefit is that this encourages the switch back to grass feed from corn feed. Cattle release significantly less methane when grass fed. And anything which weakens the corn industry is a good thing.
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dead0man
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 11:50:49 am »
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One major benefit is that this encourages the switch back to grass feed from corn feed. Cattle release significantly less methane when grass fed. And anything which weakens the corn industry is a good thing.
Would this have any repercussions in food prices? (I know the answer!)

What we need is sythetic meat.  It's coming.  I for one can't wait.
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 01:13:46 pm »
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I agree.  Attempting to tax something in the name of saving the planet is as effective as constantly raising taxes on cigarettes to cut health care costs.  Instead of wasting our time and money in trying to collect taxes on free-floating gas in a way to decrease our desire to have beef, why not try to develop a process to collect the gas and use it as a source of fuel.  That would have a greater impact on helping the environment than taxes.

You confuse the roles of the U.S. government and the private sector here. When an industrial activity produces a negative externality - a cost to society - it is the government's role to try to tax that industry so that it produces less, thus produces a smaller cost to society. It is the role of the private sector to come up with profit-making processes like the one you suggest.


And cigarette consumption has dropped dramatically in recent years. Higher taxes, along with other factors such as anti-tobacco campaigns, have had the effect of causing fewer people to smoke. That's the primary effect of taxing something.
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frenger
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 01:53:54 pm »
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One major benefit is that this encourages the switch back to grass feed from corn feed. Cattle release significantly less methane when grass fed. And anything which weakens the corn industry is a good thing.
Would this have any repercussions in food prices? (I know the answer!)

What we need is sythetic meat.  It's coming.  I for one can't wait.

Just eat white meat. It's mostly methane free.
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 01:56:11 pm »
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I agree.  Attempting to tax something in the name of saving the planet is as effective as constantly raising taxes on cigarettes to cut health care costs.  Instead of wasting our time and money in trying to collect taxes on free-floating gas in a way to decrease our desire to have beef, why not try to develop a process to collect the gas and use it as a source of fuel.  That would have a greater impact on helping the environment than taxes.

You confuse the roles of the U.S. government and the private sector here. When an industrial activity produces a negative externality - a cost to society - it is the government's role to try to tax that industry so that it produces less, thus produces a smaller cost to society. It is the role of the private sector to come up with profit-making processes like the one you suggest.


And cigarette consumption has dropped dramatically in recent years. Higher taxes, along with other factors such as anti-tobacco campaigns, have had the effect of causing fewer people to smoke. That's the primary effect of taxing something.

Basic economic theory for the win!
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dead0man
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 01:57:02 pm »
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One major benefit is that this encourages the switch back to grass feed from corn feed. Cattle release significantly less methane when grass fed. And anything which weakens the corn industry is a good thing.
Would this have any repercussions in food prices? (I know the answer!)

What we need is sythetic meat.  It's coming.  I for one can't wait.

Just eat white meat. It's mostly methane free.
I'm a leg and thigh man myself, but I do eat a ton of pork.

Still, I'd rather have fat free synthetic ham that didn't require the death of a piggy (or chicky or moocow) for me to enjoy lunch.
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Stampever
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2009, 03:18:18 pm »
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I agree.  Attempting to tax something in the name of saving the planet is as effective as constantly raising taxes on cigarettes to cut health care costs.  Instead of wasting our time and money in trying to collect taxes on free-floating gas in a way to decrease our desire to have beef, why not try to develop a process to collect the gas and use it as a source of fuel.  That would have a greater impact on helping the environment than taxes.

You confuse the roles of the U.S. government and the private sector here. When an industrial activity produces a negative externality - a cost to society - it is the government's role to try to tax that industry so that it produces less, thus produces a smaller cost to society. It is the role of the private sector to come up with profit-making processes like the one you suggest.


And cigarette consumption has dropped dramatically in recent years. Higher taxes, along with other factors such as anti-tobacco campaigns, have had the effect of causing fewer people to smoke. That's the primary effect of taxing something.

Sorry, I wasn't implying that the government invent the technology.  Just saying that would have a better impact on the environment than the government taxing cattle.  While we (per individual) might eat less due to increase costs in meat, there will be more and more cattle each year due to the ever-growing population around the world.
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 04:07:31 pm »
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Modu is not a cow.  And yet...

::: runs :::
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