Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

April 22, 2014

Cow flatulence on government radar

— — Thank goodness for the government! Under the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan the Environmental Protection Agency may soon start controlling enteric fermentation methane emissions — cattle flatulence.

Although these emissions have reduced somewhat for the last four years of data, this can not be ignored any longer. Cattle flatulence has been ignored for way too long. The cost of $13,000 to $27,000 per year depending on the size of the herd is a small price to pay. We can all help with this by paying higher dairy prices. But it will be worth it! The EPA, USDA, and DOE are working on methods to achieve a lowering of these dangerous emissions through maybe livestock feed or management methods. Dairy farmers need this help.

Maybe the National Transportation Safety Board should get involved, too. Maybe cattle carriers should go over East River Mountain instead of using the tunnel. It hasn’t happened yet, but can you imagine the udder destruction that could happen if a careless smoker threw a cigarette that would set off the methane in a tunnel? And maybe we should get the CDC involved because, after all, there is a human component to methane emissions that probably hasn’t been evaluated. They could evaluate that and the effect of second-hand emissions.

Sleep well, your government is at work.

William R. Nestor


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