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Ag department giving dairy farmers money for methane

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The US Department of Agriculture is planning to give dairy farmers more money to cut some of their greenhouse gas emissions. Rebecca Williams has more.

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Cows are gassy. They burp methane gas and their manure also emits methane. Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

In Copenhagen, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions on farms. He said the government will be giving farmers more money for methane digesters. They're machines that capture methane from manure.

Katie Feeney is with the environmental group Clean Air Council.

"If you can make it easy for them and cost effective for them to be sustainable, to reduce their emissions, then I foresee a lot more people participating in programs such as that."

But some environmentalists say voluntary programs are not enough. They say big dairy farms should be regulated more.

Starting in the New Year, all kinds of businesses will have to report their greenhouse gas emissions. But there's a big exception: large concentrated animal farms don't have to.

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