‘Cow tax’ legislation likely on its way
Korrie Wenzel The Daily Republic - 12/12/2008
Congressional legislation is in the works that will seek to exempt livestock from the Clean Air Act, U.S. Sen. John Thune said Thursday.
With approval, the legislation would effectively eliminate the possibility that cattle and other livestock will be taxed as a way to cut down on the animals’ alleged contribution to air pollution. Such a tax could cost even small livestock producers large amounts of money, said Thune, R-S.D.
Under draft rules written by the EPA, livestock operations would be subject to the Clean Air Act, which is enforced by the EPA. The EPA was instructed to regulate green house gases by the Supreme Court in a 2007 case.
“It’s clear that the Clean Air Act was designed to target smokestacks in industrial America and not livestock on South Dakota farms and ranches,” Thune said. “I hopefully will get support for this legislation in Congress and then we can end talk once and for all of a cattle tax in its early stages.” Read More
I have seen more than one person in the media, and even some in our industry, downplaying the fact that EPA is considering this and saying that we shouldn’t worry about it. The fact of the matter is that in today’s political climate, if you can dream up a scheme that will punish animal agriculture, it could turn into reality. We absolutely cannot assume that an idea is too ridiculous to come to fruition. If you don’t like the idea of a cow tax then you had better be involved in the process to stop it.