Right of First Refusal debate grows in other states

A view of high voltage transmission towers on Feb. 21, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


The debate over an effort in the Oklahoma legislature to expand the state’s Right of First Refusal law grew to a whimper last month when one of two remaining bills was amended and stronger ROFR rights were removed.

Still, Oklahoma has a ROFR law and is one of 11 states with such an act. However, Oklahoma’s current ROFR law applies only to small transmission projects.

Whether another attempt to expand the state’s existing law will occur next year in the legislature is an unknown factor. An expansion would allow larger transmission projects, those most likely tied to wind farms and the electricity they provide, and give major utilities the right to refuse competitive bidding for the construction.

Critics argue it would also allow such utilities to build the projects themselves and collect perhaps decades of guaranteed income from their use according to Inside Climate News.

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