Lawmakers and the State Treasurer are facing a dire condition of their own making. A couple years ago, Natural gas was booming. So lawmakers hiked the taxes on Gross production. Meanwhile, they kept giving some of that tax revenue to windmills, just for sitting there, on the prairie.
We were 'fat & sassy'. We spent money based on a confidence that Natural Gas prices would stay around $2.70 per standard unit. But that lofty projection is 50% higher than our current reality of $1.80.
Part of this 20-year-low market price is due to wind energy competing for industrial market share. As a result, the state is actually collecting less in tax revenue. We may have $150 less to fund core state services, just from this one market price swing.
Consumers and utilities are getting lower prices. But the big picture is that tax hikes are a dynamic factor. As Ronald Reagan used to remind us..."the power to tax, is the power to kill". And killing the state's most reliable industry will have dire consequences for families all over the state.
Zack Lee of the Petroleum industry legislative advocacy team, went into much the same details in his column for state news outlets, this week.