Would you believe that there are California legislators who are currently pushing for State funds to support large-scale factory farms under the guise of mitigating climate change and promoting alternative energy?!
Agriculture is the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. Forty percent of all emissions of this potent greenhouse gas come from the agriculture sector—primarily from livestock production. In California, most of the methane either comes from dairy cows—as part of their digestive process—or from the "lagoons" that factory farms use to store manure.
Despite Center for Food Safety's (CFS's) strong objections, California policymakers have focused almost all their efforts to combat methane from the agricultural industry on one technology: dairy digesters. This strategy aims to capture the methane emitted by these large cow manure lagoons, convert it to a biogas or biomethane, and inject it into utility pipelines.
The problem with this strategy is that biomethane is not clean. Burning manure-produced gas emits the same air contaminants as the combustion of fossil fuel. To make matters worse, the factory farms that produce the biomethane are also continuing to emit harmful pollutants into the air and to discharge nitrates into groundwater.
Lobbyists for the dairy and biogas industries have persuaded California policymakers to heavily subsidize this dairy digester technology and the pipelines it uses. And as if that wasn't enough market manipulation, these lobbyists are also pushing bills to lock in these subsidies and mandate procurement of this biomethane.
Unfortunately all of Big Ag's lobbying has been paying off. More than half a billion cap and trade and utility ratepayer dollars have gone into this dirty boondoggle so far. Meanwhile, these factory farms haven't been asked to change one thing about their animal welfare or pollution management practices.
Your voice is needed to help us stop this scam. If you live in California, please contact your California State Assemblyman and California State Senator and ask them to stop falling for the false promise of dairy digesters. Look up your California State Senator and Assemblymember's contact information here. Here's a sample script to help you make your case:
"As your constituent, I am deeply troubled by the attempts to fund building more dairy digesters on factory farms. This technology contributes to air pollution, and does nothing to address the massive water contamination and other environmental impacts of these massive dairy operations. Please stop supporting this false promise and start investing in regenerative farming practices such as pasture based dairy production that protect public health, the environment, and animal welfare. Thank you!"
Thank you for standing with us in supporting healthy and regenerative farming in California!