The bill introduced by Senators John Thune, R-S.D., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to prevent what's been referred to as the cow tax now has companion legislation in the House. Congressman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., the Ranking Member on the House Ag Committee, introduced the bill Wednesday to prevent the government from requiring livestock producers to obtain Title V operating permits under the Clean Air Act.
That's something the American Farm Bureau estimates could cost farmers and ranchers $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef cow and $21.87 per hog. The introduction of this bill comes on the same day that it was reported that the Environmental Protection Agency plans to establish a nationwide system for reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA wants to obtain comprehensive and accurate data about the production of greenhouse gases by a registry plan that would cover about 13,000 facilities that account for 85 to 90% of the nation's greenhouse gas output. The EPA requirements would apply to confined animal-feeding operations, as well as oil and chemical refineries; cement, glass, pulp and paper plants; and manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines. If adopted by the end of the year, the rule could produce greenhouse gas statistics by the end of 2010.
"Our efforts to confront climate change must be guided by the best possible information," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. "This is a critical step toward helping us better protect our health and environment, all without placing an onerous burden on our nation's small businesses."