New California Methane Regulations Expected to Raise Meat and Dairy Prices

Published November 11, 2016

Low-income Californians suffer under some of the nation’s highest electricity, gasoline, and housing prices and taxes, and in the final hours of the state’s 2016 legislative session, which ended in September 30, the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature approved $900 million in additional spending on environmental programs.

The bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on September 19 included provisions forcing dairies and livestock producers to reduce methane emissions from manure 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. It also would force farmers to limit cow flatulence to the extent technology exists to reduce it. The bill provides $50 million to implement and enforce the agricultural methane limits and another $40 million to limit methane emissions from landfills.

Burden on Poor

Because the prices of beef, cheese, and milk are likely to rise, state Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) opposed the plan, telling Yahoo News the spending in the bill “goes to many Democrat pet projects … pursu[ing] long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals that will continue to harm families and jobs.”

The effect California’s new methane law will likely have on the poor stinks, says E. Calvin Beisner, founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance.

“This new regulation is sure to drive up costs for milk, illustrating the fact those who are on the global-warming-alarmist bandwagon simply do not take into consideration the impact their policies have upon the poor,” Beisner said. “The resulting increase in dairy and energy prices from California’s existing and new climate policies is going to hurt the poorest people in California the worst.”

‘Stellar Example of Stupidity’

Beisner says California’s new methane-emissions law will likely hurt California farmers as well.

Beef, cheese, powdered milk, and other dairy products are sold globally, so if other states and nations do not enact similar laws, California farmers’ products will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those produced by farmers in other states and nations, Beisner says.

“If they can’t compete in the market against dairy farmers from other states or countries lacking a similar regulatory framework, then they are going to lose sales and find themselves hard hit with diminished incomes,” Beisner said. “This is just a stellar example of stupidity on the part of politicians.”   

Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.