Posted April 23, 2014
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) voiced his concern about how the Obama administration’s methane-reduction efforts would affect dairy farms in a letter available here. The Hill reported on the story here.
The administration recently released a plan to reduce methane emissions and the EPA released technical papers on methane emissions.
In his letter, Grassley asked several questions including: how many other countries incentivize or require methane reducing protocols for their dairy or livestock industries?; what percent of average size dairy farms would need to install anaerobic digesters to create a 25 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2020?; and what are the typical costs and payoff time for an anaerobic digester on an average size dairy or livestock farm?
Grassley does not agree with the administration’s biogas plan, according to an article by WHOtv available here. While the plan uses voluntary strategies to reduce emissions from livestock, Grassley says regulating greenhouse gasses is difficult to do on farms.
According to the Economic Research Service, “the agriculture sector produces about 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gasses. Despite being offset by forestry efforts, which removes 13 percent of U.S. emissions, livestock methane emissions make up around a fourth of total agriculture emissions.”
For more information on climate change, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.