Although the EPA under the Obama administration has indicated it has no plans to impose fees on cattle for methane emissions, farm groups and farm-state legislators are working to kill the issue once and for all, according to an Associated Press article.
The current climate bill specifically excludes “enteric fermentation” from limits it would place on greenhouse gas emissions, according to the AP story. Nevertheless, farm lobbies continue to pressure Congress to block any such regulations.
On Thursday, Rep. Todd Tihart, R-Kan., successfully added an amendment to the spending bill that covers the EPA to block the agency from including biological processes of livestock, including the release of methane, as part of regulating greenhouse gases. In addition, Senator John Thune, R-S.D. is sponsoring a bill, with support from New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, that would bar the EPA from requiring farmers to get permits for methane emissions from livestock. The EPA, according the Associated Press article, says livestock account for about 25 percent of methane emissions in the United States, but only about 2 percent of greenhouse gasses overall.