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Column: I’m just sayin’: There’s a methane to this madness

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The White House and the EPA recently announced efforts to regulate (meaning tax) methane gases and the sources of those gases. One of the main targets of their efforts is the dairy industry. Their target is to reduce methane emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

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Why the dairy industry? Because some of the methane emissions (about 9 percent) come from cow flatulence and belching. Yes, that’s right. Because cows fart and belch, the EPA believes this should be a target for reaching goals of reducing methane gas emissions. Hmm. I think I have some questions and comments about that.

To begin with, how is this being measured? Are there research scientists standing behind and in front of cows somewhere with belching and farting measuring devices? If so, who are they and how much are we paying them to do this? Is there a university research scientist somewhere devoted to the science of analyzing what comes out of the mouths and rear ends of cows? This is serious stuff, folks, and we should demand some answers!

Further, how will the dairy industry be regulated and taxed for this monumental and aggravated attack on humanity? Once it is determined that poor Bessie in the cow yard is farting and belching too much, what will be her (or his) punishment? Will each cow be strapped with “methane collection containers” and the gas then stored to be burned elsewhere? Wouldn’t that create carbon emissions that would harm the atmosphere? Oh, wait! That creates a “secondary taxing effort” for the EPA to go after whoever is burning the methane gases collected. I’m beginning to see a pattern here!

So, how then will the dairy industry change their feeding processes to reduce the belching and farting in the cow yard? What can be fed to cows so they won’t heap this pollution on humanity? Maybe some tofu, rice cakes and seaweed. I wonder how the meat and milk will taste with that kind of diet.

Let’s take this one step further. There are more than 5 billion humans on planet Earth. I am quite sure that is more than the population of cows. What’s next? Will the EPA come after us for farting and belching? How will that be regulated? See suggestions above. If we exceed the allowable amount, how would we be punished? You guessed it: a tax.

I can see it now. We would have to fill out a special form on our tax return that details what we eat. From that and our particular body mass, a calculation would be made of how much methane gas we are emitting into the environment. A tax would then be calculated so we all pay our fair share for expanding global warming.

Eastern Europe is falling apart, the economy is in shambles, health care is a mess, and immigration is uncontrollable. But our government is looking for ways to tax cows who fart and belch! Does anyone in Washington have a clue? Anyone? Buehler? Buehler? They must all be absent. I’m just sayin’.

“I’m just sayin’” is a column by DuWayne Paul that regularly appears in the Alexandria Echo Press, a Forum Communications publication.

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