Oklahoma Rep. Earl Sears, R-District 11, recently introduced legislation that would reduce zero-emission tax credits. If passed, the legislation would hamper the progress made to date by the state's wind industry. Below are comments from Jeff Clark, executive director at the Wind Coalition, a regional partner of the American Wind Energy Association.
‘Before predicting the outcome of any one of those bills, please note that it is still very early in the session. Many of the wind energy-related bills, including H.B.1554, have not been heard in their committee of origin, nor debated on the floor in their full chamber. It is entirely possible that some of the wind bills may never be granted a committee hearing.
However, those bills sponsored by members of the majority party's leadership team, such as H.B.1554 by Rep. Earl Sears, chairman of the House Appropriations & Budget Committee, will typically receive a hearing and advance through the legislature.
The end result must allow the wind energy industry to continue to develop by keeping Oklahoma competitive with neighboring wind-producing states. Secondly, the solution must support the state budget. Lastly, the Wind Coalition also recognizes that it is vital to the wind energy industry and investors to have both predictability and stability as it relates to both legislation and regulations in the Oklahoma market. As such, we are working with legislators to find a long-term solution.
While the introduced version of H.B.1554 would reduce the amount of zero-emission tax credits, legislation is often amended many times throughout the four-month legislative session. The Wind Coalition is working toward a negotiated consensus that again, will keep Oklahoma's wind industry both competitive and stable into the future.’