In February, we blogged about the rising electricity rates across many states with lots of wind turbines. At that time, we reported, from Forbes, that Oklahoma was one of the few states with lower electricity rates (down 1%). Well, NIX THAT FACT because it will no longer be true after what you read below. They will join many other states with rising electricity rates, thanks to the subsidies that we give this industry. Imagine, our taxpayer-funded subsidies are contributing to the rising cost of taxpayers electricity rates! Insanity or what?…….
The Oklahoma Property Rights Association OPRA, a 50‐member coalition of concerned citizens across the state, announced today state reports unveiling industrial wind energy farms in Oklahoma will cost an estimated $192,740,946 annually in state subsidies when announced construction has been completed.
According to information provided by Wind Energy Coalition and the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the wind industry stands to receive the following estimated annual state subsidies:$88 million in Zero Emissions Tax Credits for the next 10 years$61 million in Investment Tax Credits for the next five years$43 million in Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions that would have supported local schools and municipalities. Companies receive a 5‐year exemption; and Oklahoma bears the cost for these exemptions through the Ad Valorem Reimbursement fund.
“In addition to the 26 existing wind farms, 15 new wind farms are being planned or built in Oklahoma that will cost taxpayers millions more…
The state of Oklahoma currently doesn’t have a mechanism to budget for or document the cost of these subsidies. According state statutes, the Oklahoma Tax Commission must refund 85 percent of tax credits directly to the wind companies at their request, enabling wind farms to report misleading numbers. These subsidies distort the energy market by keeping rates artificially low, and deplete the state general fund, taking money out of the budget for other critical services….
“These Wind Farms which are owned by companies in Spain, Portugal and other foreign countries, can do what they want, when they want and where they want at the expense of Oklahoma tax payers and property owners,” added Robson. “Rather than focusing solely upon raising taxes on the local oil and gas industry, which has been the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy, the legislature needs to look at doing away with the government subsidies that prop up this industry,” he added.
OPRA is also concerned about the long‐term impact this unregulated industry will have on property owners. The association supports legislation that prevents wind farms from being built near neighborhoods and homes, and believes the state should create oversight to ensure they are operated safely, well maintained and there is adequate funding to remove abandoned wind farms.“…