Lawmakers Introduce Sweeping Wind Reforms For Oklahoma

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Two Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced legislation to alter state tax subsidies for new wind farms in the state.

The legislation, introduced by Reps. Mike Mazzei, R-District 25, and Earl Sears, R-District 11, would reform existing state subsidies for all new Oklahoma utility-scale wind facilities. The legislation, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2016, would establish laws to regulate industrial wind companies and oversee future development in Oklahoma.

Among other things, legislation would do the following:

  • Gradually reduce the amount of Zero Emissions Tax credits for new industrial wind facilities from a half-cent per kilowatt hour for energy produced in the first year to one-tenth of a cent by the fifth year and also require approval by the legislature to reauthorize in 2020;
  • Establish a $6 million statewide cap for the Zero Emissions Tax credit;
  • Eliminate the ability of industrial wind facilities to use the investment/new jobs tax credit, preventing the possibility of double dipping by those who use the zero-emission tax credit; and
  • Adjust the state's property tax policy to remove a special exemption for wind manufacturing that releases the industry from the jobs creation requirement that every other industry must meet.

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