Wyo. company: wind is 'positive step' for state

Guest article by John Arellano

Since 1927, Mountain Cement Company has been providing the building blocks of a vibrant economic future for Wyoming. Through those 10 decades, we have seen, like many Wyoming companies, many booms and many busts creating unique economic challenges for businesses in our state. We have been involved in many aspects of energy development in this State and have branched out to one of the newest forms of energy developing in Wyoming…wind energy.

We see wind energy as a positive step forward for Wyoming. It allows for our state’s economy to become more diversified and to lessen the impacts of our traditional boom and bust cycles. Wind energy has been very important to our business. In this recent recession, Wyoming wind energy has played a significant role in helping our company maintain a full employment roster with zero layoffs. When you hear that wind energy doesn’t bring any jobs to Wyoming, remember that.

In this time of economic downturn, local governments are trying to do more with less tax revenue. Wind projects will bring significant tax revenues to our local governments, which is particularly important in those areas that have not enjoyed vast mineral wealth. Our schools, our senior citizens, our landowners…all of us will reap the benefits from wind energy development in our state.

Some complain about losing Wyoming’s beautiful, wide-open spaces with wind development. That’s why it’s important that wind companies work with all of us in a community to determine the right spot for these wind projects, but let’s not chase them away. The benefits that one wind project can bring to one small community are immense, same thing with taxes. Don’t tax these companies out of the state. Find a fair and equitable tax policy that encourages development while ensuring that impacts are covered and Wyoming’s citizens enjoy the revenue and employment benefits.

Others complain that because wind is being exported to places like California and Nevada that we shouldn’t have to put up with the development here. But think about it: we export oil, gas, coal, cattle, sheep, and many, many other products out of this state. Why shouldn’t wind be part of our export portfolio?

Mountain Cement Company is just one Wyoming company that is directly benefiting from wind energy. There are hundreds more Wyoming businesses that will have an opportunity to profit from this source of energy. Let’s welcome robust, but responsible, wind energy development to Wyoming.

John Arellano is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Mountain Cement Company. Mountain Cement Company is located in Laramie, WY.

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