Only in in Obama’s America! Our government can find a way to tax anything.
The Environmental Protection Agency has come up with a “unique” way to fight global warming. They are going to tax Animal
Farts I mean Flatulence. It has been reported that Cows are a leading supplier of “methane” into the atmosphere, and our government is going to do something about it. A Tax on livestock. As you might expect the US Cattlemen’s Association is not happy:
USCA (June 4, 2009) – The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) yesterday sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Members of Congress opposing the EPA’s proposal to use the Clean Air Act to impose stringent regulations on our small businesses.
The proposal would, for the first time, define greenhouse gas as an endangerment to public health, which would “expose every sector of the U.S. economy – especially the agricultural industry – to unprecedented legal action,” according to the letter.
“Since methane emissions – a type of greenhouse gas – are a natural byproduct of cattle and other livestock, the U.S. cattle industry could be subject to an onslaught of unfair lawsuits, as a new wave of litigation could be created by the EPA’s findings that blame livestock producers for a litany of health problems,” the group wrote. “The resulting costs of this legal liability, or even the costs of simply preparing for potential litigation, could run many farmers and ranchers out of business at a time when they are coping with one of the worst economic recessions this nation has ever seen.”
According to an analysis by USDA, even small ranches and farms would fall under the EPA’s microscope. For example, a dairy operation with 25 cows, a ranch with 50 head of cattle, swine operations with 200 animals and a corn farm of 500 acres would all cross the 100 ton-per-year threshold, thus triggering costly greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to registering its opposition with the EPA, USCA is looking to rally the agricultural community against the proposal, which has a condensed public comment period ending June 23. An issue brief sent by the cattlemen to numerous farm and livestock organizations urged groups to get engaged by 1) requesting a 120-day comment period instead of a 60-day comment period so all interested parties have a chance to weigh in, and 2) submitting a comment to the EPA opposing the proposed health endangerment finding.”
Members of USCA will be in Washington, DC, next week to meet with lawmakers and administration officials about the EPA proposal and other issues of importance to America’s ranchers.
How much will that end up costing farmers? Using the EPA’s “presumptive minimum rate” for these fees, the American Farm Bureau Federation economists estimate annual permit costs could equate to $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef animal, and about $20 per hog. For row crops, the fees could amount to $125 per acre for rice, $17.50 per acre for soybeans, $8.75 per acre for corn and $4.38 per acre for cotton and wheat.
Since those fees will be passed on to the consumer, the EPA’s reaction will basically be a tax on food for all Americans, making things much harder for low-income families. Now if they really wanted to slow down global warming, maybe they could tax political speeches, or a tax on legislation, by the page.