By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee will discuss taxing wind at its meeting (tomorrow/Wednesday). State Senator John Schiffer is sponsoring one of the taxation proposals. He says the meeting is a test of the bills' viability. Though wind developers do not seem pleased with the idea. Cheryl Riley of the Wyoming Power Producers Coalition says if Wyoming starts taxing wind now, it will hurt the state's prospects for wind development, long-term.
"Companies are going to go first where they're going to make money. And if they're going to be able to make money in Colorado or Montana, that's where they're going to develop first. We're not saying that Wyoming wind won't be developed but we're just concerned it will be developed last."
Schiffer and other proponents of a tax on wind say that development comes with costs to infrastructure and wildlife. And wind should have to pay its way, just like coal or oil or natural gas.