Digest: Cook vs. Combest smackdown, cow power to the people

Environmental Working Group: This deserves its own post, but alas, our day jobs are interfering. In a very sardonic July 6 letter to former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest, EWG president Ken Cook invited him to participate in a series of debates about agricultural farm policy. Combest has called would-be reformers a “medley of malefactors” united by “inverted pentagrams” and “voodoo” who “need to understand that the real environment…is not on their side.” Agricultural universities are lining up to host the debates, and experts to moderate them, but so far, no reponse from Combest. Step up, Larry — we’d gladly pay to see you eat your own voodoo!

Central Vermont Public Service: Vermont electricity customers can opt to have a portion or all of their electricity generated by the burning of cow manure. The power generation process reduces the methane (and the smell) generated by the farms and the CO2 equivalents. CO2 is produced by the process, but the site claims (on the FAQ) that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas and that “the reduction in CO2 equivalents is estimated at 2,000 to 3,000 tons annually.” (Man of La Muncha notes: A similar mechanism was in place in California during the late 1990s but became economically untenable when electricity transmission costs skyrocketed during the Enron debacle.)

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