by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
It’s not just North Carolina.
Ohio leaders froze their renewable energy portfolio standards (REPS) mandate. West Virginia leaders repealed their REPS mandates. The Texas legislature is debating repeal of their REPS mandate; the measure has already passed the Senate.
And now, news from Kansas via the Wichita Eagle:
Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders unveiled a plan Monday to end a state mandate that requires utility companies to get one-fifth of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
The wind industry, which had fought that idea in the past, now supports it as part of a compromise that will keep lawmakers from imposing an excise tax on wind energy production.
The plan was announced about a half-hour before a scheduled meeting of the House Energy and Environment Committee, which placed the new language into HB 2373 and approved it within an hour. The bill will now head to the House floor.
The state’s renewable portfolio standard, adopted under former Gov. Mark Parkinson, requires that utility companies receive 15 percent of their power from renewable sources now and 20 percent by 2020. The new plan changes that mandate to a goal after 2016. …
The plan also limits property tax breaks for new wind production projects – which now are permanent – to 10 years. When new wind projects go on the tax rolls, however, they will be taxed as commercial properties rather than utilities, meaning they’ll face a lower rate than gas pipelines. Existing projects will keep their tax break.