Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

April 21, 2014

Wind energy gets $193M while education suffers

CLAREMORE —

Industrial Wind Energy is expected to receive $193 million in annual subsidies, yet education continues to suffer.
The Wind Energy Coalition recently released a report claiming billions in economic benefit over the last decade. However, their own fine print in the same report acknowledged only a fraction of that — $442 million — was actually spent in Oklahoma.
There in lies the problem. Making unsupported claims that we are expected to believe at face value.
The simple truth is that we soon will be providing the wind industry annual subsidies well over their own stated value.
•$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 for the next five years.
If the Wind Farms make no taxable income upon which to take advantage of their credits, no problem, the Oklahoma Tax Commission must pay them 85 percent of the tax credit in cash directly from the State’s tax receipts while paying no taxes back to the State on all of that money.
To make matters worse, we’re writing a blank check without any mechanism to budget for the impact of the existing 39 wind farms currently in operation and 15 projects underway.
In addition to robbing our state, this foreign-owned, unregulated industry takes advantage of property owners by making secret deals with landowners allowing them to build near neighborhoods and homes, without any responsibility for operating them safely or providing adequate funding to decommission abandoned sites.
While renewable energy has an important role in our future, the true success of an industry is measured by its ability to provide its product profitably without governmental subsidies. 
At a minimum, its success shouldn’t come at the expense of our children’s education.
This is not a warm issue, but a fire in hell economically, that will bankrupt the State of Oklahoma.

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