California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation’s leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock.
Despite strong opposition from farmers, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills.
Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.
In the nation’s largest milk-producing state, the new law requires dairies and other livestock operations to reduce methane emissions 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
But dairy farmers say the new regulations will drive up costs when they’re already struggling with five years of drought, low milk prices and rising labor costs.