Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it

Los Angeles Times, By William Yardley, August 14

Not long after it became clear that the robust winds that blow down from the Rocky Mountains and across the sea of sagebrush here could produce plenty of profit in a world that wants more renewable energy, some of the more expansive minds in the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question:

Who owns all of that wind?

They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did.

Then, with great efficiency for a conservative state not traditionally tilted toward burdening the energy industry, they did something no other state has done, before or since: They taxed it.

[…]

“Just about every legislator we’ve met with asks us, ‘You tell us how much we can tax you before we put you out of business,’” said Bill Miller, chief executive of the Power Co. of Wyoming, which is planning the wind farm. “I just shake my head and say, ‘Zero.’”

He said the state was at risk of “taxing this project out of existence.”

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