US Dairy Farmers To Cut Emissions 25% by 2020

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaking at Copenhagen climate talks on Tuesday announced an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to reach a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.

Dairy groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Agriculture agreeing to accelerate adoption of innovative manure to energy projects.

Anaerobic digester technology is a proven method of converting waste
products, such as manure, into electricity. The technology utilizes
generators that are fueled by methane captured from the animal manure.
Currently, only about 2% of U.S. dairies that are candidates for
a profitable digester are utilizing the technology. Dairy operations
with anaerobic digesters routinely generate enough electricity to power
200 homes, USDA said.

"This historic agreement, the first of its kind, will help us achieve the ambitious goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting dairy farmers," said Vilsack. "Use of manure to electricity technology is a win for everyone because it provides an untapped source of income for famers, provides a source of renewable electricity, reduces our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, and provides a wealth of additional environmental benefits."

Through the agreement, USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will increase the number of anaerobic digesters supported by USDA programs. Beyond promoting the digesters, the agreement will encourage research, and development of new technologies to help dairies reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In Related News…

US President Barack Obama visited a Home Depot store in Northern Virginia to push for increased incentives for home energy retrofits. While calling on Congress to provide new, temporary incentives for US homeowners, Obama explained why insulation is "sexy." 

"Here’s what’s sexy about it: saving money," he said.

He also said that the US is on track to double its renewable energy capacity by 2012, a goal set by the administration earlier this year. 

Read further coverage and watch video of the President at the link below.

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