Obama’s EPA to charge a fee for cows’ flatulence?

I get a little amused when I read articles about a subject or issue I know about. Here’s a good example– Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs angers farmers. It just so happens that I’ve been following the “cow flatulence” issue. The article initmates that EPA has proposed charging a fee on cow flatuence becuase cows (and hogs) emit greenhouse gases. The article says:

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.

These numbers are completely accurate. What is slightly inaccurate is that EPA hasn’t formally announced they would charge cows this fee. EPA put out and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. If EPA starts to regulate greenhouse gases under one section of the Clean Air Act (such as section 202 which regulates emissions from cars) they will be forced to regulate greenhouse gases from other sections as well–such as Title V. The fees talked about in this news article would be assessed under Title V. While EPA is not proposed to charge these fees, they are the unaviodable outcome of trying to regulate greenhouse gases using the Clean Air Act.

Obama’s top climate advisor has announced that his Administraiton will regulate greenhouse gases unsing the Air Act. This is utter folly. If you want to read my take on this, my comments to EPA are here.

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