Some climate change activists blame at least part of the planet’s weather problems on methane gas emissions from livestock.
The Obama administration is ordering the USDA and the EPA to create a bio-gas roadmap to find ways to reduce those emissions.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the roadmap is a questionable notion and he’s writing a letter to Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA.
“The roadmap is intended to reduce dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions through voluntary strategies by 25% by 2020,” Grassley says. “My questions for Administrator McCarthy center on the impact the plan has on the average U.S. dairy farms.”
Grassley, a Republican, says much of our country’s midsection was populated by some 60-million buffalo when pioneers first began settling in the region and there wasn’t a greenhouse gas problem back then.
“You’ve gotta’ have a historical approach,” Grassley says. “Are you going to put diapers on cows? I don’t think so. I don’t think you’re going to shut down cows from producing methane gas. That’s the way God made ’em.”
The plan calls on livestock producers to make changes that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily, but Grassley remains skeptical of the motives.
“It’s hard to forget only a couple of years ago, this administration was trying to push Cap & Trade through Congress,” Grassley says. “It seems only right to be suspicious of the administration’s intentions. All you’ve got to do is look at fugitive dust as another example.”
Dust can be stirred up during routine farming and that so-called “fugitive dust” was labeled by some as air pollution responsible for a host of negative impacts on human health, eroding the soil, strangling plants and causing reduced visibility that leads to traffic accidents.