Scientists have been speaking about how regulation to ensure greenhouse gas emission reductions needs to be comprehensive to work.  Unfortunately, Obama folded to the Big Ag lobby on one of the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions :

THE INFLUENCE GAME: Excuse me! Lobby wins on burps – AP 

One contributor to global warming — bigger than coal mines, landfills and sewage treatment plants — is being left out of efforts by the Obama administration and House Democrats to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Cow burps.

Belching from the nation’s 170 million cattle, sheep and pigs produces about one-quarter of the methane released in the U.S. each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That makes the hoofed critters the largest source of the heat-trapping gas.

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Brian Ertz

5 Responses to Livestock gets greenhouse gas exemption on Climate Bill

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    The cattle industry managed to make this into a big joke — cow farts are endangered the plant? ! Ha Ha!

    As the article says cattle produce a lot of methane.

    It’s not a CO2 problem. Methane by weight is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

    Many members of congress haven’t even bothered to find out the difference.

  2. montucky says:

    I’ve noticed that Obama’s grandiose plans are prone to change whenever anyone objects. Oh, yeah… anyone with money, that is,

  3. Brian Ertz says:

    It’s unfortunate, including livestock production within these regulations, but perhaps exempting operations that made some attemp – such as retrofitting the facilities with anaerobic digestors that capture much of the gas & waste & burn it as fuel for power – might have been a wonderful way to push that efficiency along & capture economic & social value out of so much waste that’s generated in this country.

  4. Salle says:

    Heaven forbid that anyone in the US should be encouraged to change their wasteful habits/practices for the benefit of anyone other than themselves…. Maybe that should be a question; Does heaven forbid…?

  5. JimT says:

    Amazing how much power the myth of the rancher and the cowboy still has in the political world. I wonder if someone has done a comparison between bison and cows in terms of methane; the figures might buttress the argument to get these belching creatures off public lands, at least.

    Maybe it will come down to obesity issues, and Americans deciding that if they are going to eat red meat, they will eat alternative red meats like bison, or they will choose to eat grass fed and finished local beef, forcing the industry to make some tough decisions. If you can’t go through the front door, maybe a side door will do as well.


June 2009


‎"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