Hugh went right to the source—Lisa Jackson, Chief of the EPA to get her take on the cattle exhaust regulation as well as others. Jackson noted:
“As federal bureaucrats, we are always looking for ways to tax Americans and regulate their lives. This is a good way to raise money, clean the environment, and force Americans to change their diets—so it does a lot of good things. It is a win-win for the federal government and the consumer. After all, we know what’s best for the American people.” ??
When asked whether the new tax on cattle exhaust was the only option for the producers, she noted that the E.P.A. offers an alternative: ??
“They may opt out of the per head tax on livestock by using a new device which we have developed at the agency. If the producer does not want to pay the tax, he has the option of purchasing a methane collection unit that employs a one-way rectal valve at the posterior end of the animal. It traps the methane as it is expelled, sealing it in an airtight bag which is then taken to a federally- approved collection point to be disposed of safely. These units may be purchased and installed by the producer, who would be audited by E.P.A. officials to ensure compliance. Of course, installing these collection devices at the posterior portal of each animal, collecting the gas, and trucking it to the federally- approved collection point is labor intensive, but over the long run it may be cheaper than the per head tax of $90 per year.”
But the weirdness did not end there. When asked what further regulations the country may expect after the upcoming election, Jackson outlined the following:
Farm Dust Suppression
A new federal regulation requiring all farmers to attach dust suppressors on the back of each farm implement to spray the ground with a fine mist when planting or plowing so that air pollution from farm fields is eliminated. “We simply cannot have farmers raising dust each spring and fall,” Jackson commented, “it is time for farmers to clean up their act—farms are such dirty places,” she said, grimacing.
A new federal regulation requiring farmers to furnish air conditioned 4 by 6 foot chicken condos for each chicken raised on their farm, in order to ensure the comfort of the fowl while they are being raised for slaughter. “It is inhumane for them to be cooped up in little cages. We agree with our friends from PETA that the new condos are the right thing to do.” Asked whether requiring farmers to spend upwards of $100 per chicken for each such condo was cost efficient, she replied: “Of course the cost of chicken to the consumer will rise to $10 per pound, but what price comfort when it comes to these poor little creatures?” she replied.
A new federal regulation requiring all auto manufacturers by the year 2016 to submit to the EPA prototype vehicles that can run on fermented algae. “It is time we shut down the coal mines and run our country on alternate renewable energy sources. After extensive studies we have determined that AlgaeMatic vehicles are the wave of the future. They will replace dirty gasoline engines with cleaner burning fermented algae and help clean up our farm ponds as well. We are prepared to commit a half billion to development of algae as the next energy source as the Solyndra thing did not work out so well. We are even more confident in this new energy source.”
Outlawing Gravel Roads
A new federal regulation will prohibit the building of, maintenance of and funding of gravel roads by the year 2016, according to Jackson. “Have you ever driven down a country road in flyover country during the summer?” Jackson asked, “You cannot believe the dust that those country bumpkins raise with their pickups. We will require that all such roads either be paved or in the alternative oiled in order to keep the dust down,” she stated adamantly. “Sure they will cost more and there is a small risk that the oil will leach into groundwater, but that is a risk we have to take. If the oil leaches into groundwater we will simply file suit against the state responsible and finance the cleanup in that fashion.”
Polar Bear Checkoff
Beginning in 2013 each federal and state income tax return will be required to include a check box allowing each taxpayer to contribute to a Polar Bear fund designed to raise money for orphaned polar bears rescued from ice floes at the North Pole. “Hey, we owe it to them because, after all, President Obama has not quite reached his goal of stemming the melt of the polar ice caps and we as a greedy society which pollutes the earth and melts the ice caps causing thousands of baby polar bears to die as they float into the ocean on ice floes separated from their mothers, must provide the wherewithal to rescue them and preserve the species,” Jackson noted. “And of course any monies donated to the Polar Bear Checkoff Fund qualify as a tax credit.”
Commencing in 2016, each citizen of the United States will be required to pay a breath tax of $5 for the privilege of exhaling. “Sure it will be controversial, but something must be done to save the planet. Studies have shown that, next to cattle flatulence, human exhalation contributes more to the pollution of our atmosphere than anything else. We have billions of people on this earth. Each exhales toxic carbon dioxide many times per day. Do the math—we are polluting the air at an alarming rate. As Al Gore said in his recent book, Inconvenient Breath © 2012 Random House. ‘By the year 2020, given the current rate of population growth, the number of human exhalations will increase to the point that there will be insufficient oxygen to support human life and either we will be forced to reduce the amount of humans on the planet or figure out a way to stop breathing.’ This tax will fund critical research on how to develop alternate forms of oxygen intake or in the alternative—humane ways to lower the population of the planet.”
In closing, Jackson stressed that these regulations will not go into effect until after the November 2012 elections “not because they would be unpopular and harm the President’s chances at reelection” but simply because the agency needed more time to implement the new changes.
“We want to do this right,” she noted. “After all, we are from the government and we are here to help.”