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Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Law Regulating Cow Farts, Landfills

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that regulates for the first time greenhouse-gas emissions tied to dairy cows and landfills, an escalation of California’s efforts to fight climate change beyond carbon-based gases to include methane and other pollutants.

The move by the Democratic governor targets a category of gases known as short-lived climate pollutants, which have an outsize effect on global warming despite their relatively short life in the atmosphere. Environmentalists hope that tackling short-lived pollutants now would buy time to develop new and more affordable technology to reduce carbon emissions.

The legislation will require steep reductions in a variety of pollutants, including methane; HFC gases used in aerosols and air conditioning refrigerants; and soot, known as black carbon. It’s tied to $90 million in funding for the dairy industry and garbage collectors.

“This bill curbs these dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change,” Brown said in a statement.

Republicans said the strict regulations will hurt agricultural businesses, despite concessions made to dairy farmers.

They will be required to reduce methane emissions from manure to 40 percent below their 2013 levels by 2030, with the help of $50 million from the state’s fee charged to polluters, known as cap-and-trade.

The money will help a handful of them buy dairy digesters, which use methane from manure to generate energy that’s sold to electrical utilities.

The legislation also allows the Air Resources Board to regulate cow flatulence if there’s viable technology to reduce it.

Lawmakers approved the measure on the last day of the legislative session after Brown negotiated a compromise with dairy farmers, some environmental groups and the bill’s author, Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, almost exclusively with Democratic support.

“With these bold and ambitious goals, we’ll continue to set the standard for climate policy worldwide,” Lara said in a statement.

While some environmental groups supported the legislation, others were angry that Brown and Lara made concessions to ease the transition for the dairy industry, including postponing mandates until 2024.

The new law also pushes for a significant increase in composting to reduce organic waste, which emits methane when it breaks down in landfills. It calls for a boost of 50 percent within four years.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.


One Comment

  1. fred grimm says:

    Soot does not make CO2 unless it is burned. Every blade of grass and every tree will decompose and emit methane, yes I know cows don’t eat many trees, but they emit the methane that would have been emited by decay. Their bonus is milk, meat, and keeping the vegetation in check, we don’t want any fires. The only way to stop the methane is to kill all the plants, this will take care of cow farts too. Maybe you can seed the clouds over the ocean so the plants don’t get water, but you will be cheating the interior states who need the rain. Lake Powell and Meade will never refill.
    The best thing you can do now, is to take your empty beer cans, cut them open, mount them shinny side up, and reflect the sun (heat) into space. If you do a good enough job of it you can use the runoff to drink. Outlawing everything dark ( cars,suits,paint,asphalt,etc) will slow down absorbtion of a lot of heat.

    1. Jeanne Muir says:

      The other people making comments here make as much sense. The lunatics are running the asylum! If they keep it up, all the taxpayers will move out of California and all the problems will be solved.

    2. redryder1 says:

      Fred, The key to minimizing human caused global warming/climate change is reducing/eliminating our use of all fossil fuel: petroleum, coal, Nat.Gas and replacing fossil fuel energy with renewable energy: biofuel and direct solar energy. Instead of wasting the methane produced by dairy farms and landfills the Legislation provides for collecting the “renewable methane” from dairy cows and landfills to be used instead of fossil fuel to produce electricity to heat/cool our homes and energy for BEV, and/or converted into renewable diesel and jet fuel, or used directly as replacement for fossil natural gas. The farmers will get $ to finance on site digesters, and $ when they sell the renewable methane to utility companies, and you will get all the milk/meat you need as before.

  2. john says:

    We should all do our share and stop eating mexican food and cabbage.

  3. Hogs says:

    There will no longer be any debate, Wisconsin will be the number one dairy state by a large margin after all these regs kick in.

  4. Why not mandate that every person leave California? Then Gov. Moonbeam can achieve his stated goal of zero interaction with the environment.

  5. Maybe Gov. Moonbeam can replace all the farm animals with American Buffalo, Mountain Sheep, Antelopes, and other Ungulates.

  6. Garner says:

    Just another reason for Californians to move. Please stop coming to Texas we are all ready full. Other 49 states are just fine.

  7. Daniel Bell says:

    The old boy has finally gone over the edge…Time for the old liberals home for you Moonbeam…

  8. Conner says:

    This is one of the reasons California is referred to as the “Fruit and Nut State”. Our governor is at least one of those.

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