The Jan. 9-10 Optic quotes a researcher as saying our state government's budget "will whither as alternative resources become more common and fewer people use the fossil fuels that help the state pay its bills."
It is true that our state taxes extractive industries based on the theory that such things as oil and gas can only be removed once, depriving the people of the state of that value once and for all. The researcher makes no suggestions, but why couldn't we come up with a similar theory for taxing wind, solar, and biological energy? Once an acre of land is taken over for producing wind power, solar power, or biofuel, that acre's productivity is set at a certain level. That acre is not available for another wind farm, solar array, or corn field -- and their are only a set number of suitable acres in the state overall. Doesn't it make sense to tax what will be produced and consumed in higher quantities, rather than complaining about lack of revenue from things that will be produced and consumed in lower quantities?