02 Dec 2008

EPA Planning to Tax Livestock

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Beef and dairy cattle and hogs are part of the cycle of life. They breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2, and their digestion of food produces methane as well. Living animals, at least domestic ones, from the perspective of environmentalists, thus constitute a major source of greenhouse gas air pollution, and consequently need to be taxed in order to discourage bovine respiration and porcine flatulence.

The EPA’s proposed addition of “greenhouse gases” under the Clean Air Act would amount to the imposition of major new taxes on domestic agriculture and on American consumers.

The American Farm Bureau offers some figures and notes that taxing US beef and pork production will only move that production outside US borders.

Most livestock and dairy farmers would not be able to pass along the costs incurred under this plan,” said Mark Maslyn, AFBF executive director of public policy. “Steep fees associated with this action would force many producers out of business. The net result would likely be higher consumer costs for milk, beef and pork,” said Maslyn, in comments submitted to EPA.

According to Agriculture Department figures, any farm or ranch with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs emits more than 100 tons of carbon equivalent per year, and thus would need to obtain a permit under the proposed rules. More than 90 percent of U.S. dairy, beef and pork production would be affected by the proposal, Maslyn noted.

Permit fees vary from state to state but EPA sets a “presumptive minimum rate” for fees. For 2008-2009, the rate is $43.75 per ton of emitted greenhouse gases. According to Maslyn, the proposed fee would mean annual assessments of $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 for each head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

In addition, Maslyn said the proposed rules would be ineffective because of the global nature of greenhouse gases. “Reduction of a ton of greenhouse gases anywhere will make a difference, but if a ton is removed in Iowa and replaced by a ton in China, then no net effect occurred,” he said. “A livestock tax and regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act will impose restrictions and added costs on the U.S. economy without reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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4 Feedbacks on "EPA Planning to Tax Livestock"

ruralcounsel

Someone at the EPA needs beheading, and to have their head impaled on a pike and displayed outside the main office until it rots and falls off.

Who else thinks we need another necessary resource (food) be outsourced overseas so we have to pay more for it, pay to transport it further, be at the mercy of more international shenanigans, be uncertain about quality and safety, and further ruin our balance of trade? Isn’t the pipeline of dollars going to the Middle East for oil bad enough?

So what will we see next? COWPEC? PIGPEC?



Kim

I work in the agricultural industry and have been researching this topic. Recently I found an article by R-Calf that states that the EPA put out the news release in question to point out what a cluster-F it would be it the Clean Air Act was expanded for greenhouse gases, so not too worry too much.

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Content.asp?ContentID=272484



Michael

I have to wonder: is this a move to ruin and then buy out independent ranchers?

It’s just that everytime new regulation or “progressive” legislation is passed, it seems to end up benefiting some privledged cartel or trust or another. This is a game going back 100 years now.



Joe

Who would pay for the 2.5 million feral swine in Texas? Each state has feral or wildlife that would go untaxed. EPA wake up.



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