29 Dec 2008, 10:51pm
Latest Climate News
by admin

New Jersey, Pennsylvania farmers don’t like the smell of a federal ‘cow tax’

By Bill Wichert, Lehigh Valley Express-Times, December 28, 2008 [here]

The rear end of a cow could become the next source of financial hardship for farmers.

Facing lower milk prices and higher operational costs, dairy farmers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania say they couldn’t afford the so-called cow tax, a suggestion made by federal officials to charge permit fees for livestock as a way of regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s just another expense a farmer doesn’t need,” said Layne Klein, whose family has been running a dairy farm for 73 years in Forks Township. “I guess you’d call it one more nail in the coffin.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raised the concept in a recent report on possible greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act. Those regulations also could be extended to small businesses, schools, hospitals and churches.

In its comments on the EPA proposal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the regulations might force permitting requirements on dairy farms with more than 25 cows, beef cattle operations with more than 50 cattle, swine facilities with more than 200 hogs and farms with 500 or more acres of corn.

The permit costs would mean $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 a head for beef cattle and $20 per hog, according to Liz Thompson, a research associate with the New Jersey Farm Bureau. A herd of 75 dairy cows would carry a price tag of about $13,000.

“It’s almost incredulity,” said Thompson, describing the reaction of some farmers. “‘What, are you kidding me?’” … [more]

Ed Note: for more on the EPA’s proposed “cow flatulence tax”, see [here]



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