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Wind Farm Bills Passed in Oklahoma Senate and House

Two bills related to the wind industry won approval this week in the Oklahoma Senate and House.

House Bill 2298, the one targeting the zero-emission tax credit for wind farms was passed on a 40-3 vote in the Senate and sent to the governor. It moves up the qualification date to July 1, 2017, something opponents said would send a bad message to out-of-state businesses.

Supporters claim it will save $500 million for the state over the next ten years.

“This bill is about prioritizing expenses during a contraction cycle in state revenues,” said House Speaker Charles McCall. “The behavior you incentivize is the behavior you receive, and we have incentivized the wind industry during the last two decades.”

While he gave thanks to the wind industry, he said the savings from the bill will help the state return to “solid financial footing” so it can invest more in education, public safety and other priorities.

Over in the House on Monday, Representatives voted 92-1 in favor of SB 593, a measure that targets shamports or phony airports used in blocking construction of wind farms in rural areas.

It also requires wind farm developers to give 60-day notice to any oil and gas developers on the land targeted for a wind farm.

Listen to questions and answers on SB 593 during Monday’s House session.