COMMENTARY | The Daily Caller reports that as part of its climate change agenda, the Obama administration is planning to not only crack down on the oil and gas industry, but also so dairy farms. The reason seems to be cow flatulence.
Cows belch and exhale methane into the atmosphere. Methane considered a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, indeed far more than does carbon dioxide. Hence the less methane that goes out into the atmosphere, the less climate change. Or something like that. In any case the goal is to reduce methane gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
The Los Angeles Times reports that part of the strategy the administration intends to try to cut down on cow flatulence is to encourage the use of something called methane digesters on dairy farms. The idea is that cow manure would be processed to extract the methane which would then be sold as biogas. The rest would be returned to the fields as fertilizer. This may not deal with the gas part of the flatulence, but seems like a beguiling solution nevertheless.
Some farms have been experimenting with this system for some years. However methane digesters have tended to be very expensive and often there is no market for the biogas that they produce.
The inescapable conclusion is that the administration seems bent on using government power to try to solve what it conceives to be the problem of methane producing cow flatulence and at the same time develop yet another green energy industry. That approach does not seem to have worked well for solar and wind technologies, but the White House and the EPA is clearly not deterred. More importantly the administration intends to use executive orders and its regulatory power to bypass Congress, which has been increasingly leery of green energy and greenhouse gas control schemes. And thus another industry, dairy farms, will be upended and disrupted because of the whims of bureaucrats in Washington.