Sixteen years later and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating admits he made a mistake. He says it was wrong to have given tax credits to the wind industry.
Writing an op-ed piece for the Tulsa World, Gov. Keating said the legislation “warped into a scam costing taxpayers millions to the detriment of other publicly funded services.”
“Signing this legislation was simply a mistake,” began Keating. He said the Zero Emissions Tax Credit was sold as a low-cost way to broaden an already robust energy and economic development program.
Keating wrote things will get worse until the state legislature takes action to end the credit program’s subsidy by no later than July 1, 2017. He predicted costs will rise, opportunity for education will be lost and “taxpayers will be on the hook for billions if we don’t act now.”
The former governor said even if the current law ends in 2021 as the wind industry states, Oklahoma will will pay for electricity produced by each turbine for 10 years. Keating said an accelerated construction plan will allow the industry to receive more than $5 billion by the time the last bill is paid.