NORWICH – Taxing cows for their methane-producing belches is absurd, says U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, but that’s just what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering with a new Clean Air Act regulation.
A proposal would tax dairy cows $175 and beef cows $87.50 per year per cow for their greenhouse-gas emissions. In Chenango County, with its estimated 19,000 dairy cows, farmers would have to fork over more than $3 million in fees and risk going out of business.
“This is in the category of: ‘You can’t believe this!’” the senator said in a conference call to upstate media representatives on Tuesday.
In a preemptive move to ensure a “cow tax” is never proposed, Schumer called on the EPA to immediately quash any existing plans to move forward with the rule. “We cannot allow for even a baby step forward to be taken on this idea,” he said.