Potent greenhouse gas (methane) from mega-feedlots could become fuel rather than fueling global warming-

Idaho’s energy czar wants to harness power of manure. By The Associated Press

Southern Idaho is full of vast stinky livestock feedlots (dairy and beef). Here is one way to amelioate the situation

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

3 Responses to Idaho is a manure gold mine. Methane can be captured from the state's pile of muck

  1. I should add that the production of red meat is regardless hard on the environment compared to most other meat, and of course, eating locally grown fruits and veggies.

  2. Brian Ertz says:

    gut and retrofit the malls of urban cities as intensified production facilities for beef and methane-waste power-plants –

    they’d be perfect for capturing methane, and you could vastly reduce the wasteful transit associated with the distribution of both beef and power while keeping these animals away from the natural world that they destroy.

    the move would signal a much needed repudiation of several of the most repugnant avatars of our hyper-consumer-capitalist wasteful civilization.

    keep it that local.

  3. otto says:

    Idaho’s Energy Plan and overall energy future is becoming more complicated every day, exactly what is needed. All ready Idaho’s Energy Plan (http://www.energy.idaho.gov/energy_plan_0126.pdf) calls for efficiency and conservation as the primary source of new electricity in the state over building new generation sources. Next in line is alternative energy sources, something other than hydro, coal or natural gas.

    Methane digesters which generate electricity have several benefits: methane is vastly more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, gas fired power plants can be turned on and off in response to demand for electricity unlike windmills or solar plants, and feeding the digester means less waste to wash into streams.

    This idea should be strongly supported by the environmental community. More digesters means less windmills on ridge tops, less drilling in sage grouse habitat, and less pollution to land, water and air. However we must all be willing to pay a little bit more for electricity for this idea to take off.


December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey