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Saturday, December 13, 2008

You should pardon the expression--but this shouldn't 'PASS'

The "Cow Tax" Could Have Unintended Consequences

Aubertine: Greenhouse gas regulations could increase global emissions, devastate economy

WATERTOWN (December 12, 2008)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today said that a proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including methane from livestock, would not only devastate agriculture in New York State and nationwide, but it would likely also increase global greenhouse emissions.

"There is simply is no rationale to justify putting a tax on cows for how much methane they produce," Sen. Aubertine said. "That type of fee or tax could put our local farms out of business, leaving foreign producers to meet the demand for meat and dairy among American families. These foreign farms have fewer environmental controls and less efficient production methods. When you add in the distance these goods would have to be shipped, this tax makes no sense environmentally or economically."

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule would regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles under the Clean Air Act, but this would require classifying all greenhouse gases including methane as pollutants. Under the Clean Air Act, any entity that emits more than 100 tons of pollutant would require a permit, meaning 95 percent of American livestock farms—those with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs—would need a permit.

"The EPA has indicated it will not propose a tax on livestock emissions, but the agency is working on regulations for greenhouse gases and we need to make sure we're heard clearly on this issue," Sen. Aubertine said. "This is the type of regulation that helps no one. In all honesty it does nothing for us environmentally and it would most certainly put our farms at a competitive disadvantage."

States would be responsible for permitting and setting fees, but based on the EPA's presumptive minimum rate of $43.75 per ton, it could result in taxes of more than $175 per year for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and $20 for each hog. A family dairy farm of 75 cows could end up owing more than $13,000. With the current variability in commodity prices, this could put many producers out of business.



Looks like any auto bailout deal is dead thanks to three idealist republican senators: Corker, Shelby, and DeMint. These three guys wanted pay cuts for unionized auto workers to take place next year rather than in 2011 when their contract expires.

Featherbrain Jim DeMint has actually predicted "more" riots if an auto bailout deal is passed.
“We’re going to have riots. There are already people rioting because they’re losing their jobs when everybody else is being bailed out. The fairness of it becomes more and more evident as we go along. The auto companies may be hurting,” he said, but “there are very few companies that aren’t hurting and they’re going to hurt. We don’t have enough money to bail everyone out.”

I keep a pretty close eye on the news, but I must have missed those riots that have already occurred. By DeMint's logic, the more people that lose their jobs, the less likely it is that they will riot because they unfairly lost their job. That sums up republican logic.

So we can look forward to a huge downturn in the stock markets today thanks to three guys who think believe cutting wages is the answer to saving our economy. It's a mystery why the rest of the republican congress went along with this madness - even G.W. Bush was in favor of this bailout. Dick Cheny, for gods sake, said "if we don't do this we will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever".

So, if we take the leaders of GM and Chrysler at their word, in a few weeks tens of thousands of auto workers and people who work for auto supply companies will be out of work. This should be great for the economy. But then again, republicans will have taught union members something about personal responsibility. I guess this is one way of busting unions and helping cut costs for big business.

It appears that only big finance companies and banks are worthy of being saved. Looks like Bush will need to use some of that $700 billion to save US automakers.