Gov. Dave Freudenthal, D-Wyo., says he remains committed to passing regulations for Wyoming's wind energy industry and that proposed bills in the state's legislature would accomplish this goal.
H.B.72 sets minimum state standards for wind projects while allowing county governments to enact tougher rules if they see fit. S.F.66 brings many wind developments under the oversight of the industrial siting council, and H.B.79 suspends the ability of wind companies to use eminent domain for one year.
In addition, H.B.101 would impose a tax of $1/MWh of wind energy produced in order to diversify Wyoming's tax base, Freudenthal says. The bill would not go into effect until 2012, and wind turbines would be exempt during their first three years of production.
‘We want economic development that helps pay its own expenses; we want economic development that helps us build the state,’ he says. ‘And, all this is saying is that this principle applies to the wind energy industry.’
Wyoming's House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to the proposed wind energy tax, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. The legislation must still pass two more House votes before it would go to the Senate for consideration.
SOURCES: Office of Gov. Dave Freudenthal, Casper Star-Tribune