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Agricultural News


Wind Industry Nervous Over State Legislature's Flirtations with Retroactive Cuts to Existing Incentives

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:16:21 CDT

Wind Industry Nervous Over State Legislature's Flirtations with Retroactive Cuts to Existing Incentives As the Oklahoma Legislature continues its search for dollars to fill holes within the state budget still left unbalanced, Mark Yates of the Oklahoma Wind Coalition is keeping a close eye on the legislation being proposed this session. Thus far, he says there has already been several concerning proposals made at the State Capital that threaten to break promises made years ago to the wind industry. Yates sat down this week with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays to explain what he sees happening. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.


“I think it’s important to note that the wind industry is the only industry out there today that has ended their incentive programs,” he said. “So, now everything we’re talking about at the capital is retroactive treatment. Basically, going back on the promise that Oklahoma has made to investors and retroactively trying to claw back existing incentives that have already been granted.”


Just this week, Yates points out that both HB 3710 and 3711 passed through the House’s Joint Appropriations Committee and are now being heard by the Senate’s Appropriation Committee. He says both bills would be detrimental to the industry and the rural communities they support. HB 3710 for example, if passed, would place a $35 million cap on existing zero emission tax credits on the wind industry.


“These are very concerning not just for existing projects but really for Oklahoma’s business reputation,” Yates remarked.


He asserts that by negating incentives at this point would jeopardize some projects to the point of bankruptcy and furthermore, might trigger a domino effect in the rural economy where wind investments have been made. To date, the wind industry is active across 26 Oklahoma counties and through its investment in those communities, schools and private lease holders have benefitted substantially from the revenue that has spurred development and economic growth in these areas.




   




   

Ron Hays and Mark Yates discuss proposed legislation at the state capital threatening wind energy
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