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Wind tax, wind energy impacts, contemplated by Legislature  

State Rep. Vicky Steiner, also of District 37 in Dickinson and who serves on the Natural Resources Committee, reported at the town hall that her committee was also looking into the impacts of wind energy in North Dakota . "We expect to study the impact of wind energy development on neighboring property values," Steiner said. "Does that impact their property value being next door to it? How does that affect agriculture? How does it affect the environment?"

Credit:  By Iain Woessner | The Dickinson Press | Oct 26, 2017 | www.thedickinsonpress.com ~~

Death and taxes may be certainties in life, but the wind seems to be above them both—yet the question of taxing the wind remains contentious for North Dakota legislators.

“The state does not collect a tax on wind generation of electricity. It does on coal, we have a tax on oil … that’s the question. Wind has come under fire. Some don’t like wind,” Sen. Rich Wardner, R-District 37 said at a town hall meeting this week in Dickinson.

Wardner, who serves on the Energy Development and Transmission committee, said that the realities of the energy market and the lack of real revenue-generation tend to make him lean against implementing any tax on wind-generated energy in the state.

“I would at this point be leaning against a wind tax,” he said. “We haven’t made our final recommendation at this point, we’re still taking testimony … from what I can see, I don’t see where we gain … we’d probably earn a few more dollars for the general fund, but that’d be it.”

Currently Wyoming is the only state in the United States that taxes the wind, but some who see wind energy as a possible challenger to more established energy sources want to see that change, Wardner said.

“There are those who feel that if coal is going to be taxed…then wind should too,” he added. “Wind should stand on their own two feet.”

However, Wardner said that energy taxes get passed onto the consumers through higher rates, rather than being paid directly by the companies.

State Rep. Vicky Steiner, also of District 37 in Dickinson and who serves on the Natural Resources Committee, reported at the town hall that her committee was also looking into the impacts of wind energy in North Dakota .

“We expect to study the impact of wind energy development on neighboring property values,” Steiner said. “Does that impact their property value being next door to it? How does that affect agriculture? How does it affect the environment?”

Wardner said in response to concerns that wind might be detrimental to coal that wind energy was not the biggest risk facing the coal industry.

“When it comes to challenges for coal, cheap natural gas is a big part of that,” Wardner said. “Coal has a tougher time competing.”

At the same town hall meeting Wardner spoke on other energy-related matters, including the possibility of the state incentivizing “refracs” of old oil wells.

Source:  By Iain Woessner | The Dickinson Press | Oct 26, 2017 | www.thedickinsonpress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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