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Leave it to the wildly popular Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to come up with a plan to tax farmers because their livestock emit “air pollution” in the form of gas.

For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.

Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which is one of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.  [wtf?]

As you can imagine, farmers, along with other members of the agriculture community are not pleased about the proposed EPA regulations.

“This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do,” said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal.

If the EPA didn’t hate farmers enough, it’s reported that the tax on each gas-emitting livestock would run as high as $175, costing some farmers and additional $40,000 per year.

Because the EPA is serious about implementing this gassy legislation, farmers are in talks with companies such as Beano, to see if they can develop products that will reduce the amount of gas their livestock emit.

What’s uncertain at this point is how much the EPA plans on taxing Uncle Earl and Grandpa Jimmy, who are both guilty of excess flatulence these days.

Update: It looks as if Beano isn’t farting around.  They’ve already developed a webpage catered to farmers.