To combat global warming California targets dairy cows…and their emissions

In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, photo, is the methane digester at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. New Hope Dairy, which has about 1,500 cows, installed the $4 million digester in 2013, thanks to a state grant and a partnership with the local utility. The digester takes the methane gas, collected from the raw cow manure held in a 1 million gallon tank, to generate renewable power for the grid. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, photo, is the methane digester at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. New Hope Dairy, which has about 1,500 cows, installed the $4 million digester in 2013, thanks to a state grant and a partnership with the local utility. The digester takes the methane gas, collected from the raw cow manure held in a 1 million gallon tank, to generate renewable power for the grid. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

GALT, Calif. (AP) — California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation’s leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock.

Despite strong opposition from farmers, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills.

Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.

In the nation’s largest milk-producing state, the new law requires dairies and other livestock operations to reduce methane emissions 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.

But dairy farmers say the new regulations will drive up costs when they’re already struggling with five years of drought, low milk prices and rising labor costs.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, photo cows are seen at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. New Hope Dairy, which has about 1,500 cows, installed a $4 million methane digester in 2013, thanks to a state grant and a partnership with the local utility, which operates the system to generate renewable power for the grid. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, photo cows are seen at the New Hope Dairy in Galt, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. New Hope Dairy, which has about 1,500 cows, installed a $4 million methane digester in 2013, thanks to a state grant and a partnership with the local utility, which operates the system to generate renewable power for the grid. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

 

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