Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that regulates greenhouse gas from livestock operations.
“Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure,” writes Fox 5.
Yes, you read that correctly. The state will be regulating when cows pass gas.
“If we can reduce emissions of methane, we can really help to slow global warming,” said Ryan McCarthy, a science adviser for the California Air Resources Board.
This is California’s latest ridiculous attempt to “slow” global warming.
The state passed its global warming law in 2006, in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions from cars, trucks, homes and factories.
Now, the new livestock regulations are to take effect in 2024.
“In the nation’s largest milk-producing state, the new law aims to reduce methane emissions from dairies and livestock operations to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030, McCarthy said,” writes Fox 5.
Evidently, dairy farmers are against these new strict regulations, since they will increase costs significantly.
It has already been tough for the California farming industry with the five-year drought, increasing labor costs, and low milk prices.
Not only are they expecting this upcoming blow in the next decade, but a newly signed law in the state boosting overtime pay for farmworkers will also affect their bottom line.
This means more Cali farmers are thinking about moving to other states.
“It just makes it more challenging. We’re continuing to lose dairies. Dairies are moving out of state to places where these costs don’t exist,” said Paul Sousa, director of environmental services for Western United Dairymen.
The regulations could ultimately backfire because if farmers start to migrate to other states where there are less regulations, this will actually cause higher emissions globally.
California is hoping to pave the way.
“We expect that this package … and everything we’re doing on climate, does show an effective model forward for others,” said McCarthy.
But, it looks like it will only hurt the state financially
“We think it’s very foolish for the state of California to be taking this position,” said Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager for the Milk Producers Council. “A single state like California is not going to make a meaningful impact on the climate.”
The regulations may force farmers to change what they feed the cattle, which will likely be a spike in food costs.
Dairy manure, in particular, will take a major hit.
“State regulators want more farmers to reduce emissions with methane digesters, which capture methane from manure in large storage tanks and convert the gas into electricity,” writes Fox 5. “The state has set aside $50 million to help dairies set up digesters, but farmers say that’s not nearly enough to equip the state’s roughly 1,500 dairies.”
However, most farmers can’t afford the methane digesters.
“The bottom line is it’s going to negatively impact the economics of the California dairy industry,” said Van Groningen. “In the dairy business, the margins are so slim that something like this will force us out of state.”
Let’s add this to the list of stupid and expensive ways to combat global warming.
Here are some of the recent others.
Earlier this year, the Swedish government committed to dish out millions to encourage Europeans to eat more “climate smart” proteins, like refined mealworms and crickets. Yum.
Then back in July, John Kerry suggested that refrigerators and air conditioners pose just as big of a threat to the planet as terrorism.
We can’t make this stuff up.