The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has set a goal of slashing methane emissions by 40% by 2030, from 2013 levels, and has targeted the belching and farting – known as “enteric fermentation” – of California’s 5.5 million beef and dairy cows, as well as the manure they create.
A strategy document produced by the regulator states that improved manure management practices, new diets for cattle and “gut microbial interventions” could help cut the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. State legislators are currently considering a bill to enforce these suggestions.
It's always interesting when government legislators and bureaucrats decide to wade into manure management and other stuff they know nothing about. I'm reminded of the time, back in the 70s, when a Portland politician came up with the absolutely brilliant idea of diapering the deer that live in the vicinity of the city's watershed in order to ensure that the water supply would forever remain pristine.
It seems doubtful that the boys and girls over at ARB have a whole lot of knowledge about ruminant biology, so maybe they should leave the feeding and "gut microbial interventions" to the folks that do.
The Milk Producers Council has also lambasted the prospect of new regulation, with the lobby group’s general manager Rob Vandenheuvel stating that the methane rules plan “threatens the future of the California dairy industry”.
“This is about fighting against the ridiculously stupid ‘go-it-alone’ strategy for implementing business killing regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases,” Vandenheuvel said.
“When the US talks about going this direction, while countries like China refuse, I call that crazy. When a single state like California does it on its own, I call that absolutely insane.”
Looks as though Vandenheuvel has his head on straight; too bad the same can't be said for California politicians and bureaucrats. Next up: cow-mounted methane-collecting backpacks.
Meanwhile, PeTA is lobbying for permission to erect a five foot-tall memorial to the chickens which were killed in a big-rig rollover wreck on highway 99 in Turlock, CA.:
They've tried this in half a dozen other locations around the country without success, but being that this one's in California, they're hopeful.