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Stop Laughing: The EPA is Actually Very Serious About Capturing Cow Farts

The Afternoon Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

“We’re gonna regulate cow farts to save the world.” – This part of the outline of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s infamous “Green New Deal” (GND) provoked peals of laughter all across the country and weeks of ridicule on every social media platform. But here’s the truth: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent millions of research and development dollars during the course of the 21st century in a Quixotic quest to figure out how to do exactly that.

For example, on Dec. 5, 2008, CBS News ran a report headlined “EPA’s Air Pollution Target: Flatulent Cows”. The story reports on farmers’ concerns about a newly-issued EPA report that seemed to propose a literal tax on cow farts. No kidding.

A Daily Caller report on April 11, 2014 details GOP concerns that the Obama EPA led by Gina McCarthy was also considering implementing a new tax on cow flatulence. The concern was then based on the Obama-era “Climate Action Plan” that would enact penalties on the agricultural industry unless it found ways to reduce methane emissions – which in fact far outstrip similar emissions from the natural gas industry – by 25% by the year 2020.

It isn’t just the U.S. media reporting on this smelly subject – the UK Daily Mail got into the act a few days later with a doozy of a story headlined “Now That’s Wind Power! Cows Wear BACKPACKS to Capture Their ‘Emissions’ and Become Miniature Power Stations”.

The story begins with the following opening paragraph and accompanying photo that I swear is a real thing:

“On Friday, the Obama administration stated that it would make a multi-pronged attack on cow flatulence, in an attempt to cut methane emissions. As a result, windy cows have come under renewed scrutiny by scientists, who plan to capture their harmful emissions and convert them into ‘green’ energy. But scientists in Argentina believe they have come up with a solution – cow backpacks that can be used to trap the animal’s natural gas.”

Now, you can’t see it in that photo – which is a really fortunate thing – but that poor cow actually has a hose jammed up its rear end so that this contraption can capture its frequent toots.  I swear I do not make this stuff up.

Then, in August of 2016, the Obama-era EPA issued the results of a new, very costly study that names farming and ranching as the single biggest emitter of CO2 in the United States, and estimates the ” technologically feasible abatement potential of the livestock sector is 267 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2030″ or fully 10% of U.S. baseline emissions.

Folks, that’s a lot of cow farts the EPA was planning on eliminating.

A simple web search turns up literally hundreds of similar stories over the years, all based on reports and studies issued by the EPA. Anyone who thinks federal regulators aren’t seriously intent on regulating cow farts hasn’t been paying attention.

Indeed, the release of that August, 2016 study led to a raft of new media reporting on the subject, such as this story at Bloomberg titled “Could Less Gassy Livestock Be A Cash Cow” (‘cash cow’ – get it?) and subtitled “It’s Time to Have a Conversation About Flatulent Cows.” Despite the cleverness of the headline writers, the author of the piece is completely serious, just like the nutjobs behind the Green New Deal.

So, laugh all you want – and God knows you should want to –  at AOC and her insane Green New Deal’s plan to capture cow farts, but do so armed with the knowledge that she is deadly serious, and that the bureaucrats at your EPA are serious about it as well, having spent the last 20 years wasting millions of your taxpayer dollars studying ways to do exactly that.

No need to thank me – happy to be of service.

That is all

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

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