Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Cow Tax or Bessie's New Sticker

Ah, the Environmental Protection Agency. I do enjoy those guys. They make me smile...a little like "No Child Left Behind" makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

There's been much discussion as of late regarding the proposed "Cow Tax," a proposed tax on entities with the potential to emit more than 100 tons per year of a regulated pollutant. Said emitters, if you will, would be required to obtain a permit in order to continue to operate. For about 90 percent of beef producers and 99 percent of dairy producers, this would add up to about $90 per head of beef or $175 per dairy cow.

Now, growing up in Colorado, I have come to appreciate clean air as much as the next guy and I do believe the EPA to have its place. However, emission stickers for cows are not only impractical but a real sore subject for any self-respecting bovine.

Greenhouse gas regulation would not only affect cattle producers but also farmers as crop production emits nitrous oxide, methane and carbon. Farms with as little as 35 acres of rice, 250 acres of soybeans and 500 acres of corn would be slapped with the requirement to obtain Clean Air Act permits. Now, crop production is more Coach's specialty than mine but this is going to hit farmers and ranchers in the pocketbook and send them reaching for their Excedrin.

Farming and ranching are tough enough without added headache and increased fuel, fertilizer and energy costs due to increased regulatory actions. Besides, where exactly would one place a sticker on a cow, anyway?

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