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Republican Senators Urge Voluntary Methane Reduction Measures

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Spencer, IA: (Apr. 15, 2014) – A group of Senate Republicans is urging the Obama administration not to regulate livestock emissions under the recently proposed methane reduction plan.

In a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the sixteen Senators say the “agriculture community is committed to environmental stewardship.” They urged the administration to work with Congress and the ag industry to outline voluntary measures that can be taken to reduce emissions, “without imposing heavy-handed regulations on farms across America.”

Methane is far less prevalent in the atmosphere than is carbon dioxide (both of which are greenhouse gases), but methane is more efficient at trapping radiation. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane on climate change is over 20 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to the EPA.

Livestock is a major producer of methane. The U.S. Agriculture Department plans to release a “biogas roadmap” in June that will provide voluntary guidance on lowering methane, an approach that was applauded by the dairy industry.

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