Although legislation was signed last month by Governor Mary Fallin to end the zero-emissions tax credit on July 1, wind energy advocates are not signaling defeat. Instead, one group is gearing up for an all-out war that will play out through the local media, according to a report by The Oklahoman.
Following a spate of television commercials featuring University of Oklahoma football coaching legend Barry Switzer and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, the American Wind Action has made a six-figure purchase of on-air advertisement space. The group has one target – Harold Hamm of Continental Resources.
“Mr. Hamm and his political and celebrity friends are simply trying to protect their numerous and expensive tax incentives while tearing down the wind industry in the process,” said American Wind Action’s board members Sam Enfield and Jeff Clark, in a joint statement. “The truth is, wind power in Oklahoma creates jobs, lowers energy prices and builds a better economy. Increasing wind power is a bipartisan issue that has universal appeal among Oklahoma voters, which is why former Governor Frank Keating has thrown his lot in with Harold Hamm at the expense of Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and public schools.”
The new advertisements, which began airing on Monday, take jabs at Keating and Hamm. They also tout the investment and income aspects of wind energy among Oklahoma communities.
The Windfall Coalition members supported the early sunset of the tax credit. The group continues to press legislators to tax the industry.