Carbon County, Wyoming could soon have the biggest wind farm boasting 1,000 turbines. Conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz got his start from his father’s oil business and is the man behind the massive wind farm. The planned wind farm will be large enough to power every single home in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Despite this good news, wind power in Wyoming can face hurdles as legislators are poised to increase renewable energy tax.
Wyoming is the only state in the US to tax wind energy, but some lawmakers have attempted to raise the tax even higher. It used to be $1/megawatt-hour to $3-$5/megawatt-hour. The tax hike made it past committee and the billionaire’s business helped fight the price hikes. Still, legislators are trying to fill the state budget gap which it used to make money from coal, which is in its downward spiral.
Experts say that it is a bad idea to raise the tax as the state is trying to provide new jobs. Robert Godby, an economist at the University of Wyoming, said the state is perceived by many wind developers to be kind of anti-world. Suddenly, the state is suggesting that the tax might be raised by 4 or 5 times. It’s not helping economic development because tax uncertainty is as bad as having very high taxes.