Will dairy farms that are known for their milk and cheese also soon be known for their electricity? Maybe so, according to USA Today, which reports that a growing number of dairy farmers are using the methane from manure to generate needed power. Driven by low milk prices, high oil costs, and new laws requiring more renewable energy, dairy farmers in Vermont are feeding methane-powered electricity to the local utility, which pays them a hefty 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Of course, all of the nation’s 7,000 large dairy and hog farms together couldn’t produce more than a fraction of America’s total energy needs. But with every cow able to provide up to 30 gallons per day of manure, that’s still quite a lot of new black gold down on the farm.

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