California on warpath to regulate cow farts

California on warpath to regulate cow farts
Bovine digestive system: the methane end. (Image via CH Dairies)

[Ed. – Of course, “regulating cow farts” will have its main impact on humans, and the cost to them of bovine husbandry.]

In the nation’s largest milk-producing state, the new law aims to reduce methane emissions from dairies and livestock operations to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030, [Ryan McCarthy, a science adviser for the California Air Resources Board] said. State officials are developing the regulations, which take effect in 2024. …

Dairy farmers say the new regulations will drive up costs when they’re already struggling with five years of drought, low milk prices and rising labor costs. They’re also concerned about a newly signed law that will boost overtime pay for farmworkers. …

Regulators are looking for ways to reduce so-called enteric emissions — methane produced by bovine digestive systems. That could eventually require changes to what cattle eat.

But the biggest target is dairy manure, which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s methane emissions.

State regulators want more farmers to reduce emissions with methane digesters, which capture methane from manure in large storage tanks and convert the gas into electricity.

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