California’s holy-cow idea

December 5, 2017 by Ronjoy Bezbarua

(Source: Bloomberg) In California, most methane emissions are from cows — chiefly the state’s 1.7 million dairy cows, whose manure is typically washed into methane-spewing lagoons. This is why the state, which has pledged to reduce methane emissions by 40 percent by 2030, is looking to the big Central Valley dairy farms for substantial reductions. Its law limiting methane emissions on dairy farms was passed last year but does not mandate any action before 2024. In the meantime, the state is trying to persuade hundreds of big dairy farms to install contraptions known as methane digesters. These are basically heavy, lagoon-covering tarps that trap the gas. They can be expensive to install and maintain, but the state is offering grants to help defray the cost, funded with money from its cap-and-trade program. Farmers who use digesters are also allowed to sell carbon offsets or, if their methane is used in fuel, fuel credits. Read full article….

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