How state manufacturing plant incentives can be frozen

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Oklahoma’s attempts to land huge manufacturing plants in the state through the offer of millions of dollars in state incentives have been an up and down ride.

Some offers were spurned and others are dependent on whether companies that agreed to locate their manufacturing facilities in the state will eventually meet their promised goals—namely that of employment gains over the years.

One outstanding incentive is what the state offered Canoo to locate manufacturing plants in Pryor and another in Oklahoma City. Canoo’s growing financial problems show how risky such offers of incentives can be in the dog-eat-dog business of trying to lure big business to the state.

Kentucky is one example of the risk of such incentives. Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas led one of the challenges when the U.S. Energy Department agreed to a $200 million loan to Texas-based Microvast, a firm that he believes has improper ties to China.

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His outcries apparently did some good because the Department of Energy abruptly rejected the loan and this week, Kentucky, where one of the Microvast EV battery plants was to be located, froze its s $21 million in incentives.

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