HERD ABOUT IT?
by Ana Grarian
You may have heard about the fight FedEx is picking over UPS’ fight to have the two parcel delivery companies regulated by the same set of rules. FedEx likes to call it a Brown Bailout though there are no government funds involved. The real Brown Bailout has to do with government agencies at all levels from town to federal getting caught up with industrial livestock producers in power generation schemes often under the delightful moniker of “Cow Power”..
In Cayuga County a group of Industrial Dairymen have been working under the radar with the county legislature to develop a “green” energy infrastructure for the county’s industrial park. Up to ten dairy CAFO’s would install anaerobic digesters on their sites to capture Biogas (a dirty form of methane) from their manure lagoons.
The county would build a stainless steel pipeline to carry the gas to an Industrial Park under construction 40 miles away. The county would also construct (on the taxpayer’s nickle) a scrubber to remove the contaminants, a compressor station to convert the methane to natural gas, and a generator to create electricity. All in the hopes that they can attract food industry type businesses to the park who want to be seen as using “green” energy. Also, the food waste from these plants would be trucked back to the CAFO lagoons where they would enhance the creation of methane by the anaerobic digestion of the manure.
Another county in CNY has been approached by BION Corp to partner in a beef cattle/ethanol project.
In Vermont “Cow Power” is set to derail the states normal support of sustainable farms by encouraging the building of anaerobic methane digesters which don’t work well at all with operations of under 1000 head of cattle, and have a tendency to corrode and fail before the payback period is through.
All this is being done under the current mantra of sustainable or renewable energy.
Industrial livestock operations have had to admit that their pit and lagoon systems are threats to the environment and sources of water and air pollution. No problem! Just get the town, county, state and federal governments to funnel tax payer $$$$ into a fancy manure handling facility that creates nominal amounts of energy but leaves plenty of solid and liquid waste to be disposed of in the old fashioned way.
Here’s a simple, fast and easy way to deal with your pollution problem Mr. CAFO owner.
CULL YOUR HERD!
Cut back the number of cattle to the size that your farm can handle. The reduced glut of milk will also raise the price per hundredweight, helping ALL the dairies in the area.