The “cow tax” — a theoretical levy on the amount of methane gas emitted by cows burping — may be really DEAD.

Last June, we told you it was being left out of efforts by the Obama Administration and House Democrats to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Read more.

Now, the Senate has passed a measure preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases produced by livestock, reports the Sioux Falls Argus-LeaderRead the article from the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

The origins of the cow tax can be traced to July 2008, when President George W. Bush's EPA released documents outlining how the Clean Air Act could regulate greenhouse gases.

Even though the Bush administration had no intention of using the law, farm groups seized on a single paragraph deep in the comments from various federal agencies. The Agriculture Department warned that if EPA decided to regulate agricultural sources of greenhouse gases, numerous farms would face costly and time-consuming process to acquire permits for barnyard burping.

The Farm Bureau quickly did the math and figured farms would have to pay about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog to purchase permits for emissions.

Source: Sioux Falls Argus-Leader and Associated Press