The American Farm Bureau is strenuously opposing a U.S. EPA greenhouse gas proposal that would tax livestock producers for their animals’ emissions. AFB says it doesn’t even pass the smell test, let alone the straight face test. But EPA is considering steep fees based on animal emissions that Farm Bureau says would force many livestock producers out of business. American Farm Bureau lobbyist Rick Krause says it’s no laughing matter.

“We’ve already heard from one of President-elect Obama’s senior environmental advisers that they intend to take up this regulation early next year, when they come in, Krause said. “The only saving grace that I think that we might have, in stalling this, is the state of the economy.”

Krause says the clean air act covers any emitters of 100-tons or more of carbon-equivalent a year, forcing more than 90-percent of the U.S. dairy, beef and pork industry to get permits at an estimated cost of $175 a dairy cow, $87.50 for each head of beef cattle, and twenty dollars for each hog.

Krause told Hoosier Ag Today, “The permit doesn’t give you anything, other than the right to continue operating the way you have. It doesn’t give you anything new, in terms of any new privileges or any new rights to expand, or anything like that.”

Krause says EPA’s consideration of a greenhouse gas rule to cover emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides, stems from a Supreme Court case decided in favor of environmentalists last year. It parallels another case involving whether California should be able to regulate auto emissions for greenhouse gases.

Krause says if a livestock producer was making a profit or breaking even, that will change if the new regulation takes effect.