Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico


It sounds plausible…


one of the things that many people do to convince others of their opinion or their position on an issue is use big words, often incorrectly, but stringing them together will impress the low information voter and convince that person that the or writer is correct. There is also a modicum of logic, I use that term loosely, that also helped to convince the general public of the stance that the person is taking. So it goes with California and their attempts to curb man caused global warming.

Back in September Governor Moonbeam, known officially as Jerry Brown, signed a law that regulates methane created by dairy cattle and other livestock. According to the global warming alarmist crowd, 14.5% of "human induced greenhouse gas emissions", from beef and dairy production operations. If you think that might be an accurate statement, understand that first of all Pauline are not human and second of all the source for that factoid is the United Nations. No California has been on the forefront of trying to reduce carbon emissions and producing renewable energy. So to control methane produced by cattle, which the immature side of me says I have to tell you those are cow farts, is the next "logical" step. The goal is to reduce methane emissions from Terry's and livestock operations to 40% below 2013 levels in the next 14 years.

Ryan McCarthy is a science advisor for the California air resources Board and is one of the key authors of the regulations and laws that will accomplish this goal. He of course believes that what they are doing in California will be a model for the rest of the world. While he does agree that this will drive up costs for dairy farmers especially, he believes the benefits far outweigh the potential disastrous side effects. Paul Sousa, Dir. of environmental services for Western United Dairymen, believes this is a very foolish position for the state of California to take and that the cost of complying with the regulations will cause dairy farmers to leave the state.

Sousa says that many farmers have already started to move to states where not only these at regulations don't exist but it's unlikely they will be implemented in the foreseeable future. Some of the things that the California air resources Board are asking farmers to do is change the diet of their cattle. With dairy farmers especially this could not only change the quality of the product, but could also reduce the output from each milk giving cow further straining the ability of farmers to make a living.

The New Hope Dairy, owned by Arlen Van Groningen, a third-generation farmer has been one of the first dairy farmers to comply with the new regulations. One of the things California has done is set aside $50 million to help dairy farmers purchase methane digesters which will store methane gas produced by the cattle and the manure they create and use that gas to create electricity. Sounds really nice doesn't it? Reducing enteric commissions, again one of those fancy phrases, by converting it into energy. Here's the little problem, a single methane digester costs $4 million. Van Groningen Has partnered with California Biogas to create electricity for the Sacramento municipal utility District. Arlen admits that there is no way he could afford to buy the digester himself. But there are 1500 dairies currently operating in the state of California; at a cost of $4 million apiece that would mean the state needs to shell out almost $6 billion. Or the farmers have to bear that cost themselves which is economically unfeasible. The return on the sale of methane gas does not offset the cost for decades.

Even those farmers who want to comply and do their heart admit there is no way this can work from an economic standpoint. It's much easier to purchase property elsewhere and move all of your cattle and equipment than it is to buy everything you need to comply with California's laws. So California continues to take steps to run businesses out of their state and too often to other countries rather than other states. Thus taking not only jobs, but uprooting families, and decreasing tax revenue for those of you that worry about that type of thing.

As we have said there are number of scientific studies that prove bovine methane emissions are negligible in creating global warming or climate change or whatever phrase they're going to use this year. The amount of human induced greenhouse gases is negligible compared to what the earth itself produces through volcanoes for example. But below information voter certainly wants to leave the world a better place and if this sounds like it's possible they'll go along with it.

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