Oklahoma Legislature Approves End to Wind Tax Credit

By Editors of Power Engineering

The Oklahoma Legislature has approved a bill that would speed up the end of a wind power tax credit, the Tulsa World reported.

HB 2298, already approved by the state house, passed the state senate 40-3 and will now go to Governor Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign it. The bill moves the end of the tax credit from 2021 to July 1.

Senate Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus and one of the sponsors of the bill, said the state can no longer afford the tax credit due to extraordinary budget challenges.

“The zero-emissions tax credit did what it was supposed to do — help the wind industry get off the ground in Oklahoma,” Schulz said. “Our state ranks third in the nation in terms of wind power and will likely remain among the leaders in wind power for the foreseeable future.”

The Tulsa World noted the tax credit’s use grew from $3.7 million in 2010 to over $113 million in 2014.

Jeffrey Clark, president of the Wind Coalition, said that the industry has cooperated with state leaders on the phase-out.

“As an industry, we are proud that these incentives worked so well for the benefit of Oklahoma but we recognize that, as an industry matures, incentives should be examined and adjusted to reflect that growth,” he said. “We hope that other industries will recognize the state’s challenging budget situation and follow our lead.”