Articles from Oklahoma
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.
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.
State Sen. Bergstrom has filed a bill that would cap tax credits at $25 million statewide for electricity generated by zero emission facilities, including wind energy, and another that could use the savings to provide a graduated teacher pay raise over the next three years.
Outgoing Senate Finance Chairman Mike Mazzei addressed the Incentive Evaluation Commission recently in support of a report that examined the cost versus benefits of the state’s Zero Emission Facility tax credit. The PFM consulting group determined the cost significantly exceeds the benefits of the program, and recommends that the credit termination date should be accelerated.
An Oklahoma tax credit that provides millions of dollars to the wind industry yearly is overly generous and should be curtailed sooner than planned, according to a consultant's report considered by a state committee Friday.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed an anticipatory nuisance case brought by a group of landowners worried about the noise and health effects of the Kingfisher wind farm.
Acting on behalf of the Osage Minerals Council, the United States brought the litigation forward in 2014, contending that the company was appraised of that requirement but ignored it anyway and at one point, sped up construction in an effort to finish its work before a federal court could issue a ruling.
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.