Thursday, September 15, 2011

EPA: "Hay, Hay, What'd You Say!?!?"

"When hay is outlawed, only outlaws will have hay...
From my cold, dead hoof!"  -- Buttercup

The EPA, which recently required Dairy Farmers to develop "Milk Spill Disaster Plans" (I'm not making this up) for each of their dairy facilities, is at it again.

Being a guy whose blog features Cows on a regular basis, I've got to tell you, I feel a bit Moo-dy right now.  I think they're picking on me - and I don't HAVE an actual cow.  I'd hate to be a Dairy Farmer in the US, you know, between the Milk Spill Disaster Planning requirements and Schools looking to ban Chocolate Milk - I'd think someone within the government 'has it in' for me.  But, you know, that's just me.  I'm thinking someone's been after me for years - only question is...  Who?

Yeah, I might be paranoid...  But it doesn't mean that THEY'RE not after me...

Okay, so which toxic substance has the EPA set its sights upon this month?

"Hay, glorious Hay, I'm gonna Eat Some!!!"

From the article found online: In a news release last week, the Environmental Protection Agency labeled hay a pollutant, according to the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). A non-profit organization representing thousands of U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA says the EPA’s outlandish affidavit could potentially require farmers and ranchers to store hay in pollution containment zones.

The EPA's 'Beef'?  During the 12th Annual R-CALF USA Convention held in late August, Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate was asked, "Has the Environmental Protection Agency declared hay a pollutant?" Callicrate responded affirmatively, while he described the EPA’s enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for failing to store hay in a pollution containment zone.

"Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action," he charged. "How far are we going to let this agency go before we stand up and do something about it?"


Callicrate and other small to mid-sized feedlots claim that the EPA’s compliance order is a ploy for corporate beef packers to eliminate small feeders from the market, as the agency is singling out only certain feeding enterprises. "I believe the EPA’s enforcement action is a premeditated effort by EPA to partner with the beef packers to finish the job the beef packer’s couldn’t do alone," Callicrate alleged. "Along with my feedlot, the EPA has filed enforcement actions against five other smaller feedlots, including one with only 400 cattle."

Callicrate contends that while badgering small feedlots with burdensome regulations the EPA is overlooking the large corporate operations: "EPA is turning a blind eye toward the mega-feedlots that are a real risk for pollution and, instead, is antagonizing small to mid-sized family operations in an effort to help their packer-partners capture the entire live cattle supply chain away from family farm and ranch operations."

Okay, so here's the deal, it's the contention of Callicrate that the EPA is after his, and other smaller feed lots at the behest of the 'mega-feedlots'.  Is it true?  I don't know.  

What I do know is that once again the EPA is looking to add regulations and monitoring requirements to American Farmers who grow, store, and possibly distribute... Hay.

The people who grow corn for chicken feed won't be happy about this.  Hmm, what else is corn used for?

Oh, that's right, it's used to make Ethanol - that corn-based gasoline additive which Congress LOVES to subsidize since it's NOT a fossil fuel.  I'm sure that the EPA must be riding rough-shod over the Corn Growers of America too, right?  You can't just have corn lying about all 'Willy Nilly', now can you?

I found this at Chemical & Engineering News online (February, 2010):  EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced a determination by the agency that corn-based ethanol qualifies as a renewable energy fuel if made in a modern, low-carbon-dioxide-emitting facility. This determination, made last week, allows producers of corn-based ethanol to have their product designated as a "renewable fuel"...


EPA's determination also aids corn growers by providing an exemption for currently operating ethanol plants that use coal-based energy sources. Under the decision, these plants can be designated as renewable fuel producers, too. Also last week, the Obama Administration created an interagency government panel to develop within 90 days a plan to have five to 10 commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects on-line by 2016.

So, the EPA will allow you to get a carbon-footprint penalty 'exemption' for the production of Ethanol (since the Federal Government incents farmers to grow corn to chunk into gas tanks), but if you dare feed your cow, hay, well, you're pretty much out of luck. 

I guess the only answer is to create Congressional 'Methane-Subsidy' legislation in which bovine 'gaseous discharges' will be collected to power 'Green' vehicles nationwide.  I'll bet that hay (particularly 'gassy hay') will become okie dokie with the EPA once some lunatic decides that farts are about as 'natural' of a gas as you're going to find.

I'm thinking that cow flatulence is a 'Renewable Fuel' also.  Come to think about it, this would make my son's Boy Scout Troop a 'Renewable Fuel' source following their annual Chili cook-off each February at the Scout Cabin at Chenango State Park. 

Only problem is, no one wants to be close enough to the cabin to collect the methane weeping through the rafters of the 60+ year-old cabin.  

In summary, your EPA is addressing critical environmental dangers facing America today:

  • Hay storage

  • Curtailing Cow Flatulence by witholding the 'Cow Chow'

  • Making sure that food prices continue to rise by shoving inexpensive corn into stills, and squeezing out Ethanol

Don't ask questions.  Just go with it. 

It's for your own good.

It's all for your own good.

Yeah, it's ALL good.
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