If it’s not one thing in the climate change battle, it’s another.
It turns out replacing fossil fuels with clean sources of energy like wind and solar may be the easy part. The harder part could be how to replace the lost tax revenue.
Resources For the Future and the University of Michigan looked at 79 counties in 10 states to gauge the potential tax impact from migrating to renewable energy.
In six of the counties fossil fuels generate government revenues of over $10,000 per capita. In 28 counties the amount is more manageable but still significant – $1,000 per capita.
Wind and solar do provide a tax base but at lower levels. The highest per capita amount from wind and solar was found to be around $1,000. However, only 11 of the 79 counties registered renewable revenues above $100 per capita.
In 15 counties fossil fuels account for more than half of the property taxes. In 47 counties that figure is more than 10%.
The states included in the study were Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Alaska, California, New Mexico, West Virginia, Ohio, and Montana.
The researchers cited the time required to gather the information as the reason they could not conduct a national analysis. Instead, they attempted to select states and counties that represented an array of energy activities including oil, gas, coal, wind, solar and refining.
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