In recent weeks, PACE has followed developments in Oklahoma related to the state’s support for wind projects. As Oklahoma lawmakers consider possible legislation concerning wind, PACE has released the following statement. See the official release here.
As legislative leaders in Oklahoma continue to debate the best approach to supporting the state’s wind industry, it is important to recognize the value that wind power is bringing – and can continue to bring. It is also vital that Oklahoma honors the commitments it has made to developers who have invested significant capital to call the state home.
The record shows clearly that wind is working in Oklahoma. In addition to already creating more than 7,000 jobs in Oklahoma, the wind industry also brings numerous benefits to customers and communities. As our report, entitled “Oklahoma Depends on Wind”, outlined in November, the state’s wind industry is projected to generate more than a billion dollars in revenue for Oklahoma schools and save families and businesses another $2 billion in electricity costs.
Despite these contributions, lawmakers have moved forward on legislation that would scale back Oklahoma’s investment in the wind industry by prematurely ending a production credit that is set to expire at the end of 2019.
As discussions on these measures continue, we encourage lawmakers to carefully weigh the benefits of the state’s wind industry against the costs, as we believe the record clearly shows that wind in Oklahoma returns far more benefits to consumers and local governments than it costs taxpayers.
We also urge Oklahoma lawmakers to consider the economic development implications of pulling back the commitment the state has made to wind developers. Especially for wind projects already in operation, or that will be in the near term, Oklahoma needs to keep the promises it has made.