Wyoming has one of the nation’s best wind resources.  But if a contingent of state senators and representatives there have their way, electric utilities located in the state will be slapped on the wrist for using it (or other renewables, for that matter).  Senate File 71, which has been introduced in the Wyoming State Senate

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department ("WGFD") has extended the public comment period on a draft document:  "Wind Energy Issues:  Impacts and Mitigation for Wildlife in Wyoming" from December 18, 2009 to February 1, 2010.  The document provides recommendations for assessing impacts to wildlife from wind energy projects, for collecting data, and for mitigating effects on

On November 18, 2009, the Wyoming interim Joint Revenue Committee (the "Committee") considered two bills, each of which proposed to tax wind generated electricity.  Neither bill passed the committee on tie votes of 6-6 (4-4 House members and 2-2 senate members).  One of the bills sponsored by Sen John Schiffer, R-Kaycee, chairman of the Committee (legisweb.state.wy.us/interimCommittee/2009/10LSO-0126w4.pdf) proposed a tax of $.0010 upon each kilowatt hour for electricity produced and sold in the State of Wyoming.  An exemption was provided for electricity produced for the personal consumption of the producer.  A power producer using coal or other fuels would break even on the generation tax through a credit equal to the severance tax portion of their electricity production costs.  The proposed tax works out to be an approximately 5 percent tax on generation.  The second bill considered by the Committee was sponsored by Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, (legisweb.state.wy.us/interimCommittee/2009/10LSO-0062w2.pdf).  Rep. Miller’s bill was similar to Sen. Schiffer’s bill, but would only provide the credit to traditional power producers if they agree to use 90 percent of the credit on electricity generation or transmission projects and put the other 10 percent into the state’s low income energy assistance program.  Proponents of the proposed tax cited a number of factors in favor of the bill including the fact that wind projects should contribute to state and local governments equally with other energy industries.  For example, Wyoming imposes a severance tax on natural resources, which includes (approximately) a 6 percent tax for oil and gas and a 7 percent tax for coal.  Opponents of the tax bills, including the group of wind energy developers represented by the Wyoming Power Producers Coalition, argued, among other things, that (i) wind energy projects already pay property taxes and provide other financial benefits to the local communities and (ii) the taxation issue should be studied carefully so as not to discourage wind energy development in Wyoming.Continue Reading Will Wyoming Tax Electricity Generated From Wind Energy Projects?