Wyoming Passes Windmill Tax

by Myron Ebell on March 1, 2010

in Blog, Politics

The Wyoming House and Senate have passed the nation’s first tax on wind energy and sent the bill to Governor Dave Freudenthal.  The Democratic Governor proposed the new tax to the Republican-dominated legislature last month and so is almost certain to sign the bill into law.

The new excise tax of one dollar per megawatt hour will begin in 2012 and will apply  to windmills that have been generating electricity for three years or more.  Revenues are to be split 60-40 between counties and the State.

Amusingly, Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, complained about the proposed tax on the grounds that it would discourage wind power production:  “It is very disturbing to hear that one of the great States for resources wants to tax the industry and discourage the development of jobs in their State.”  She did not mention that Wyoming already taxes oil, natural gas, and coal production, which is why it doesn’t levy a personal income tax.  Nor did she mention that wind power receives huge subsidies from federal taxpayers.  The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency estimated in 2008 that wind receives $23.37 in federal subsidies per megawatt hour.  So Wyoming has quite a ways to go before it captures the entire federal subsidy.

It will be interesting to watch how quickly other States follow Wyoming’s example.

Rob Maxwell March 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The bastar!ds finally found a way to tax our air. This is bogus. Just because there are Federal subsidies being given doesn't make it right to tax them. I'll make wager that if the subsidies were to expire the tax would remain.

pojoe March 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

The other baster'ds can pollute it without paying any taxes !!

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