Posted on the Libertarian Party of Colorado blog by Severin Schneider:
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that could cost Colorado ranchers millions of dollars each year.
The agency is reviewing a Supreme Court decision that classified carbon dioxide and methane as air pollutants. While much of the ruling covered only the automobile industry, the final rules from the EPA could cover all industries â€” including cattle, pigs, sheep and horses.
Any rancher with more than 100 head of cattle could be charged between $80 and $100 a head for methane and carbon dioxide production. Coloradoâ€™s ranchers could pay $240 million in federal taxes. The cost to the dairy industry would be $20 million and pork producers would pay $17 million each year.
Before we had millions of cattle roaming the great plains, we had millions of buffalo, and long before that dinosaurs, all wandering around destroying the atmosphere untaxed! Where were these busy body bureaucrats back then?
The real question is what is the goal of this tax? It is a punishment tax, so is the goal to punish farmers? Or is it to punish people who eat meat? How are they going to measure if the tax was a success? Will the government charge themselves for the herds of elk and buffalo in national parks? This whole idea seems really wacky, especially to those of us who are not convinced that global warming is a threat, or that it is man made.
Even if you believe in man made global warming and believe that a sin tax on emissions is a good idea, can emissions from a cow or a pig be considered man made? Can someone who believes this tax is a good idea explain why?