Republican legislators in the state of Wyoming are choosing sides in the energy market—with dire consequences for consumers and the environment.
[Updated January 16, 2017] "A bill proposed by six state lawmakers would charge utilities a penalty if they use wind or solar energy to provide Wyoming consumers with electricity," reports Heather Richards.
"If Senate File 71 were law, there would be six permissible resources for generating electricity for Wyomingites, including natural gas and coal. Wind and solar are not on the list, except for individual use," adds Richards.
Critics of the proposed law are calling it protectionism—and likely ineffective protectionism at that. As Richards explains, "[t]he benefit to Wyoming's producers of traditional fuels like coal is unclear, as two-thirds of Wyoming generated electricity is shipped out of the state already."
The more likely effect of the bill: a tax on wind energy that could raise the price of electricity for consumers as renewable energy becomes more and more competitive with traditional forms of energy.
Zahra Hirji provides an environmentalist take on the proposed law for InsideClimate News.
[The post was updated with the correct name of the state in question.]
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