One topic that turns Idahoans against each other-wind. Not just that it blows so much, but that power companies want to use it to make energy. Lately in Idaho, there has been a heated argument on whether or not Idaho should have wind turbines generating wind energy in the southern part of the state. Wind energy is a viable option for Idaho not only because it is a clean source of energy, but also because it is cost efficient and the wind farms can be built practically anywhere.
This wind power debate has been going on for much longer than most people realize. In the article Wind Energy: Opponents Stress Problem with Subsidies; Proponets Insist it is a Property Rights Issue, it says, "What has become a wind energy development debate had its beginnings in 1978 with the passage of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA)" (Coffman). The PURPA states that power companies have to buy power from other more efficient producers in order to promote a greater use of domestic renewable energy. PURPA opened the door for many wind companies to come and start generating wind energy in Idaho. Inconjunction with PURPA, wind farms are getting a major tax break. This is because Idaho's legislature has changed how they taxed, going from a property tax to a production tax, back in 2007. Then on top of it all, the Federal Government will reimburse up to thirty percent of the cost of installing a specified energy property because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With all of these on the wind's side, one would think that the wind industry would be thriving, but alas, it is not so (Coffman).
Recently, the wind industry has met stiff objections at the hand of the people of Idaho. These stiff objections mainly come from the Energy Integrity Project with their "sWINDle" campaign. According to Marian Lyman Kirst in her article Words are Wind, the sWINDle campaign is just, "a relatively new organization that advocates and lobbies against wind development in Idaho on behalf of 'ratepayers, taxpayers, and the environment'" (Kirst).