State House Prepares to Take up Latest Anti-Wind Bill

Last week, the head of the Oklahoma Wind Coalition said the industry was at a breaking point as the Oklahoma legislature prepared to hit it again with another law. And he charged that the state once again was going back on its word and breaking an agreement.

The State House on Tuesday is prepared to consider SB 888, a measure that would eliminate the refundability for tax credits at wind farm operations.

Mark Yates, Director of the Oklahoma Wind Coalition made it clear, “Our anti-wind legislators continue to push for punitive taxes on would that would really jeopardize existing projects.”

The bill’s authors are Sen. Josh Brecheen of Ada and Rep. Jeff Coody of Granfield and it would end the ability for credits to be refund able at 85 percent of the value on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

Yates says if it becomes law, dozens of school districts in western Oklahoma could be at risk along with any school bond projects they undertook.  He pointed out that $47 million is made in payments annually to landowners and 62 school districts will be directly impacted.

“If these projects go under, there are no more lease payments,” warned Yates. “We got over $20 billion of investments in the state of Oklahoma. Now we have the legislature looking to retroactively pull back on what’s already been granted to the companies.”

“What we’re talking about is the state of Oklahoma that went out and recruited the capital investment to come to the state—now we’re talking about going back on our word to companies that we recruited here,” he complained. “We need Oklahomans to reach out to their legislators and tell them we cannot afford to lose our business reputation and put these projects at risk.”