Library from Oklahoma
HINTON, Oklahoma - Homeowners in Western Oklahoma are divided over wind energy. While many property owners are leasing their land for wind turbines, others are trying to escape their shadow.
The Osage Nation strongly opposes development of industrial wind farms. I write this column to explain our view from the spiritual perspective of our culture but also from the view of economics, health concerns, quality of life and the impact on natural habitats and wildlife.
The announcement comes a day after Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2298, which ends the zero-emissions tax credit for wind projects July 1, more than three years ahead of its previous sunset date.
House Bill 2298, by Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, and Senate Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus, sets the expiration date at July 1 rather than allowing it to continue until 2021.
While wind energy is clean and renewable, it creates relatively few permanent jobs and most of the power (and the profits) go out of the state. ...The petroleum industry pays taxes on the energy it produces and creates an enormous number of jobs and wealth inside the state.
The Oklahoma Senate has overwhelmingly voted yes on a bill that would move up the sunset date of the state’s wind power tax credits to July 1.
Legislation to cut off the subsidy on July 1 passed the Oklahoma House and a Senate committee, potentially saving the state billions of dollars, but lawmakers still must contend with an army of pro-wind lobbyists before casting the decisive votes. Our state has many other needs, from education to infrastructure repairs, more important than subsidizing the mature wind industry. Please reach out to your legislators to make sure they make the right decision on this critical issue.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislation that rolls back a state tax credit for the wind energy industry has been approved by an Oklahoma Senate panel.
The Altus Chamber of Commerce wants Oklahoma lawmakers to give a state military commission siting approval for wind farms near military installations, saying the turbines can affect radar and disrupt training routes.
Attorney Kimberlee Spady represents the plaintiffs and alleged in her petition that NextEra filed the forms, but did not include the latitude and longitude of each turbine or specify the distance from the nearest airport, among other things. The public notices published in The Hinton Record also didn’t include information required by state law, Spady wrote.
House Bill 2298, by Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, would end the zero-emissions tax credit July 1, more than three years earlier than its current sunset date. The bill passed, 74-24, over the objections from some lawmakers that it could jeopardize wind projects already in an advanced stage of development.
Oklahoma wind developers are fresh off a record-setting year. Only Texas installed more wind capacity in 2016, a fact that thrusts the Sooner State's power markets into a sudden transition and is agitating opponents along the way.
Also hustled through the committee process Wednesday were a number of bills that would repeal tax incentives granted to the wind-energy industry over the years. In most cases, the bills would accelerate the expiration date to July 1 for incentives that were set to expire in four years.
Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., recently released her proposed 2018 executive budget, which includes two new anti-wind tax proposals. The first proposal would end the zero-emission tax credit for wind facilities placed in service after 2017. The second proposal would begin taxing the production of wind energy at $0.005/kWh produced.
Signing this legislation was simply a mistake. What was promised to cost the state less than $2 million annually when I was in office has soared to $113 million for the 2014 tax year and is expected to cost billions in the future. Wind farms average 10 percent to 13 permanent jobs, which hardly lives up to the promised employment growth. ...As your former governor and a proud citizen of Oklahoma, I encourage us all to work together to end this subsidy no later than July 1, 2017.
State Rep. David Brumbaugh, author of House Bill 2246, said the cost is much more than officials first had in mind when they created the credit. He also said that wind generation has exceeded the goal set by former Gov. Brad Henry that renewable energy should make up 15 percent of the state's power generation by the year 2015. It's now at 20 percent, Brumbaugh said.
Minco Wind IV LLC and Minco Wind V LLC, affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, said the town's Jan. 17 ordinance calling their equipment a public nuisance was "intended to restrict and curtail the Minco projects."
A group in Caddo County has filed a lawsuit against two wind farms, claiming the developer didn't adequately notify state and local officials and nearby residents of turbine locations.
Thanks to a suite of overgenerous tax subsidies to fund wind farm construction, our state pays out more than $200 million per year to wind company owners. Without a production tax on the energy created, the tax dollars those companies take to send their power out of state comes from the tax dollars of average Oklahomans.
Oklahoma would become the second state to impose a tax on wind power, and its tax would be the nation's highest, under a proposal announced Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin. In her executive budget, Fallin proposed a 0.5 cent per kilowatt hour tax on electricity from wind generation. She also wants to sunset existing tax incentives for the wind industry earlier than planned.