Articles from Oklahoma
Bratcher said he doesn't mind the sight of the turbines now dotting the landscape, but he wants lawmakers to mandate a sound barrier or a minimum distance turbines and substations must stay away from homes.
The residents said the wind turbines were built too close to their homes and they have become an unwanted nuisance.
A group opposed to wind power incentives said Oklahoma's budget could be on the hook for as much as $5.2 billion in future claims through 2030 if the state's zero-emissions tax credit is allowed to continue, an amount the wind industry said is highly inflated.
Windwaste, an advocacy group pushing for a more equitable taxation on the wind industry, says under the current tax law, recent wind farm generation growth announcements and projects in the works could cost the state more than $2.4 billion over 10 years.
Thankfully, the lid has been blown off Oklahoma’s previously well-hidden wind subsidies. Projections that the Windfall Coalition and others provided to legislators over the past year are now being realized. With another budget shortfall looming over our state, legislators can no longer ignore the glaring deficit being largely driven by Oklahoma’s wind giveaway.
"Conventional wisdom says general revenue collections should rebound when oil stabilizes, but the reality is any rebound will be significantly hamstrung by wind incentives without legislative action. The revenue erosion wind incentives caused in May will be the new normal for years unless legislators act," Doerflinger said.
“The state paid more to wind companies in May than the general fund netted from all other corporate income taxpayers combined,” said Doerflinger in a statement. “How messed up is that?”
An Oklahoma House committee Monday defeated a bill designed to save the state $306 million over more than a decade by phasing out the state's zero emissions tax credit for the wind industry beginning at the end of 2017 rather than the end of 2020.
Oklahoma is in a budget crisis, and citizens' tax dollars are headed overseas in the form of breaks for the wind industry.
Schlomach adds that wind energy is thought to have many benefits; however, in reality, the perceived benefits are an economic waste.
As these overly generous subsidies are being called into question, the only leg the wind industry is purportedly standing on is that it is helping local schools. This could not be a more disingenuous argument. According to the wind industry's own research, state reimbursements — not wind companies — are responsible for the vast majority of “wind industry payments” to schools.
“Basically this decision says that Washington, D.C., knows more than the people of Arkansas do about whether to build across the state giant, unsightly transmission towers to carry a comparatively expensive, unreliable source of electricity to the Southeast where utilities may not need the electricity. This is the first time federal law has been used to override a state's objections to using eminent domain for siting electric transmission lines. It is absolutely the wrong policy.”
The signs were put up just two weeks after State Auditor Gary Jones wrote a scathing piece in the Tulsa World calling the subsidies “nothing short of a giveaway." In the piece, Jones said the state lost $88 million in tax credits, $44 million in sales taxes that were supposed to go to schools and $67 million in sales tax exemptions.
Out of the $130-plus million in subsidies Oklahoma taxpayers hand over to wind companies every year, over $120 million literally is going to companies in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, Venezuela, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Georgia. Furthermore, the property taxes being trumpeted by wind lobbyists simply do not add up. The truth is taxpayers from across Oklahoma have paid the bulk of wind’s property taxes, not out-of-state and foreign wind developers.
Oklahoma Tax Commission paid wind companies $27.3 million in cash incentives for 2013, the most recent tax year for which data are available. That was up nearly 50 percent from the $18.2 million claimed the year before. ...Those claims far overshot the commission's own predictions two years ago that payments would swell to $19.1 million a year by 2018.
An Oklahoma wind project in Canadian and Kingfisher County will not be completed by its deadline, according to an Apex Clean Line Energy official. Apex spokeswoman Davhi Wilson said construction with the Kingfisher Wind facility is ongoing, even though it was scheduled to be completed before the end of 2015.
The tribe’s Minerals Council has argued that the pits, measuring as much as 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep, amount to “mining” and violate the tribe’s mineral rights, which includes ownership of rocks and minerals below the surface. The Osage Wind development west of Pawhuska has destroyed more than 60,000 cubic yards of minerals, according to the lawsuit.
A State Appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling that the telecommunications tower built on property near Ken Laubenstein’s home was a nuisance. ...But now some are wondering how the ruling might impact the state’s growing wind farms and possibly a lawsuit filed by landowners in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties against Apex Clean Energy Inc.
A senator from the windswept state of Oklahoma wants to remove a tax credit for wind energy from the tax code. ...Lankford contends the tax credit has outlived its usefulness and is a redundancy since 37 states already provide incentives for wind energy production. He said wind generation has grown 5,000 percent since the tax credit was instituted in 1992.
Wind developments in Osage County do not violate tribal mineral rights, according to a federal court ruling Wednesday, rejecting arguments from both the Osage Nation and the U.S. Department of the Interior.