Say Whaaaat? A Tax? On Cow Flatulence?

Cow looking over shoulder

Photo: Getty Images

Here's today's "Say WhaaaaT" story comes from New Zealand where the government wants to impose a tax on livestock gas emissions. I immediately have questions. Is this a flat "fart" tax or do they plan on making the tax heftier based on the numbers of heifers a farmer has? Is there a way to measure the methane emitted from the farmer's livestock? Will this tax really encourage the farmers to try and reduce livestock emissions and recycle the gas? Oh, and, is there a way to convert cow farts to automobile fuel? Who needs OPEC? We've got lots of cows! Problem solved!

Cow farts and burps are going to cost New Zealand farmers an arm and a leg if a government-proposed bill is passed. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced a plan this week that will make farmers pay for their livestock's gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change. Methane emitted by cows and other farm animals accounts for about half of New Zealand's gas emissions. Arden says the tax isn't intended to punish farmers but instead meant to incentivize them to do a better job of reducing emissions. And the tax dollars that are collected will be “recycled back into the agriculture sector through new technology, research and incentive payments to farmers."

New Zealand is a major exporter of beef and dairy cows and farm groups object to the tax proposal saying it will destroy the industry and "rip the guts out of small-town New Zealand. (Fox Business)

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