Articles from Wyoming

Harnessing the wind

Residents are divided about a proposal to build up to 200 wind turbines in southern Albany County. The proposed Hermosa West Wind Energy Project would be located on 11,000 acres of private and state land near Tie Siding on the western side of U.S. Highway 287, running from Sportsman Lake Road to the Wyoming-Colorado border.
28 Jan 2010

Wind whips more debate

Crowds filled the Converse County Courthouse's inauspicious basement meeting room and spilled out down the hallway. As TV news cameras rolled in the corner, infants and old-timers alike listened intently - sometimes with solemn contemplation and other times with heart-felt applause - as concerned citizens used fiery passion and vivid imagery to relate tales of pristine natural beauty and struggles to save family ranches.
26 Jan 2010

No culture clash in wind debate

This isn't a "clash of cultures" between "longtime ranch families" and "wealthy newcomers," and it's pure fantasy to say that anti-wind sentiment in the oil and gas industry motivates opposition to industrialization of the Northern Laramie Range. ...Industrialization of these mountains will destroy the business opportunities and property value of an unsullied Western mountain landscape, and the nonmonetary value of open space, silence and a black sky at night.
26 Jan 2010

Wyoming group studies tying wind farms to grid

Transmission developers with plans to send Wyoming wind power to western states hungry for renewable energy are trying to figure out how to connect scattered wind farms with proposed export power lines. The Wyoming Infrastructure Authority formed the Wind Collector and Transmission Task Force last summer to develop a coordinated system.
26 Jan 2010

Wyoming governor works to revive wind tax proposal

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal said he's working with lawmakers on a proposal for the upcoming Legislature to tax wind energy production. Freudenthal's pursuit of a wind tax bill follows a November vote by the Joint Revenue Committee against sponsoring two bills to tax wind energy generation. The governor said a wind tax would level the playing field.
21 Jan 2010

Wind divides Converse County

Converse County residents remain staunchly divided on the issue of whether to allow wind development in the northern Laramie Range. More than 100 people crammed into the Converse County Courthouse on Tuesday night to testify for and against a proposal that would place a 90-day moratorium on all industrial development south and west of Interstate 25 on lands 5,500 feet in elevation and higher.
21 Jan 2010

Block wind development? Scaled-back moratorium proposal goes before Converse planners

A landowners group continues its push for a moratorium on large industrial development ...The alliance previously persuaded the planning and zoning commission to recommend to the Converse County Commission an immediate 30-day moratorium, but the commission declined. Alliance organizers now say they've refined their request to apply the moratorium to a certain elevation threshold limited only to the mountainous area south and west of Interstate 25 in Converse County.
18 Jan 2010

U.S. bird listing to hit energy, wind industries

Efforts to protect an iconic bird could disrupt oil, natural gas and wind energy development in the U.S. West and add to the Democratic Party's green woes ahead of the 2010 congressional elections. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until Feb. 26 to decide whether or not to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. This may prove politically charged as it comes in the face of opposition from energy interests and state governments who fear it will hurt economic development.
6 Jan 2010

Wyoming BLM issues sage grouse guidelines

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is directing its Wyoming offices to consider certain restrictions for oil and gas drilling, new wind turbines and other types of development in sage grouse habitat. In many cases, the BLM could limit drilling to one well pad per square mile. Also, the BLM will prohibit many activities during sage grouse breeding season each spring.
5 Jan 2010

Wind farms take center stage

Wind energy development in Wyoming garnered unprecedented attention this year as the state wrestled with regulation, taxation and environmental protection issues. ...Last month, the Joint Revenue Committee decided against sponsoring two bills that would have imposed generation taxes on wind energy. Gov. Dave Freudenthal had supported the concept of a wind tax to raise state and local revenues, as did local government officials.
30 Dec 2009

Wind power isn't the answer

If wind power is the answer, then the question must be "How can we do the most environmental damage, with the least results and for the most cost"? ...The problem with wind is the same as it was 30 years ago. Wind can generate power but that power cannot be stored. Modern society relies on power being available at the flip of a switch.
29 Dec 2009

Year of policy debate for Wyoming wind industry

During the 2009 session, the Legislature allowed a sales tax exemption for wind projects to sunset, and lawmakers created a task force that worked through the summer to develop recommendations for regulating wind farms. ...Last month, the Joint Revenue Committee decided against sponsoring two bills that would have imposed generation taxes on wind energy. Gov. Dave Freudenthal had supported the concept of a wind tax.
24 Dec 2009

Wind farms waste tax dollars

I do agree that "those" windmills are not contributing to our demand for Mideast oil or to "wild-eyed killers" simply because the percentage of electricity produced in the United States by oil is in the single digits. The production of electricity with the power of the wind has no relevance to oil.
24 Dec 2009

BLM: Mark fences for sage grouse

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is telling its field offices to mark certain fences and guy wires to make them more visible to sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and lesser prairie chickens. Studies have shown that barbed-wire fences can be deadly when these bird species fly into the fences without seeing them
17 Dec 2009

Not all happy with wind energy

Chevrons' wind farm officially opened Monday and the new turbines are creating quite a buzz... literally. Bright flashing lights, broken internet signals and increased noise are some of the complaints from local homeowners. Some feel their once peaceful property has been destroyed.
17 Dec 2009

Farmers, ranchers eye action in wind

Local wind groups strive to stay below a definition for small wind farms of 20 megawatts or less to avoid more detailed transmission studies. ...There also is controversy about how much a project should pay to use lines. Since many lines have been paid off, charging for new generation is viewed as problematic. Groups like Woolsey's often concentrate on debt service first, so after about 10 years, they are able to sell electricity at a cheap rate.
6 Dec 2009

Commissioners didn't do jobs

By now I'm sure most of the residents of Natrona County have seen the newest addition to our skyline, the Chevron wind farm. I have noticed an increase in traffic in our area, I assume to see this mess close-up. I have spoken with many people and asked them if they would like to live next to this; I have yet to get a "yes." So why did our commissioners allow this to happen in violation of their own regulations?
21 Nov 2009

Don't blame wind, officials say

Power producers have installed more than 500 megawatts of wind energy generation in Wyoming in the past year. One driver behind the wind boom presumably is action by other states in the West to require that utilities use certain percentages of renewable energy in their power supplies -- called renewable portfolio standards. ...That has many speculating whether renewable portfolio standards in other states are driving up rates in Wyoming, where there is no such requirement.
20 Nov 2009

Wind tax talk whips up debate

Wyoming lawmakers will soon take up the thorny issue of whether to impose new taxes on wind energy development, a proposal that developers say could stunt the fledgling industry's growth in Wyoming. Supporters of a new tax say it's only fair for wind projects to contribute to state and local governments equal to other energy industries. Opponents say Wyoming taxes are already high compared to surrounding states and any new tax would be premature. The Joint Revenue Committee will consider two proposals to tax wind electricity generation at a Wednesday meeting in Cheyenne.
17 Nov 2009
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