Editor’s note: According to a story in Friday’s newsletter, dairy producers in California have the opportunity to make extra income from cap-and-trade credits, but those opportunities are diminished by the high cost of methane digesters and other equipment. And, as some California producers have discovered, the high cost of regulations governing that equipment. Yet, producers in other, less-regulated states may have opportunities to sell cap-and-trade credits, as discussed in this story.  

While only manufacturing facilities in California are being regulated under the new California Cap-and-Trade laws, dairy farmers across the country can capitalize on the carbon-offset revenue.

Gary Gero, president of the Climate Action Reserve, says the new regulations have been designed to benefit dairy farmers everywhere.

“Dairy farms across the country can participate, because when California adopted these rules they said it would take emission reductions from any facility in the United States,” Gero said. “California did recognize that it needed a large number of emission reductions and it didn’t limit the program to just dairy farms in California even through the only sectors that are regulated are located in California.”

The Climate Action Reserve hopes for more dairy farms to get involved and engaged in the carbon-offset market. The Cap and Trade Laws in California do not regulate any livestock operations, but Gero hopes this policy will be a stepping stone towards more opportunities in the future for farmers.

“The agricultural community in general and farmers are not going to be directly regulated under any conceived cap-and-trade program and they are always going to be a source of voluntary emissions reduction that serves as offsets,” Gero said. “I think that there are tremendous opportunities that are just really at the beginning now with the California Cap and Trade with the methane emissions from the livestock waste, but there is going to be a whole other range of activities that farmers will be able to undertake to generate emission-reduction offsets and sell them into cap-and-trade programs.”

The Climate Action Reserve has been an integral part of the cap-and-trade laws since the policy’s development. They are also the only organization whose standards of use have been adopted into the cap-and-trade program.