Retracting the industry’s only tax credit remaining after 2016 will force wind developers to move their jobs and dollars to more business-friendly states, such as Kansas and Texas. 

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We’re all familiar with the idiom “it takes all kinds.” Diversity takes many forms, and it makes for a rich cultural and economic landscape. When it comes to Oklahoma, our state is diverse in many ways, but especially in our industries. We are strong in energy, manufacturing, agriculture, aviation and more.

Within the energy sector, we find sources like oil, natural gas, solar and wind.

Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of the electricity powering Oklahoma’s homes, schools and businesses comes from wind energy today. Wind supports our state’s economic health and energy reliability by working alongside fossil fuels like oil and natural gas as a cleaner, renewable complement to our state’s diverse energy mix, keeping Oklahomans from becoming dependent on just one form of energy.

The industry also provides jobs and investment in Oklahoma, with the potential to sell its product as a commodity outside our state, just like wheat, cattle or natural gas, with dollars and jobs remaining in Oklahoma.

Today, wind energy is the most affordable form of electricity, which benefits every Oklahoma family.

Further, Oklahoma wind energy companies pay tens of millions in corporate income taxes each year, more than offsetting the cost of the state’s one remaining tax credit.
Economists estimate that owners of wind energy projects will pay more than $1 billion in ad valorem taxes from 2003 to 2043, providing significant funding for education, including local schools and Career Tech centers.

Recently, a small faction of renewable energy opponents has spread inaccurate, inconsistent and misleading information at the Capitol and among Oklahomans. It’s time to set the record straight.

We’ve heard directly from Gov. Fallin and other state leaders that it’s their goal to attract out-of-state dollars into our state through investment from companies like Boeing, GE and wind energy developers.

Closing our borders to out-of-state wind companies would send the message that Oklahoma is closed for business to all industries.

Retracting the industry’s only tax credit remaining after 2016 will force wind developers to move their jobs and dollars to more business-friendly states, such as Kansas and Texas.

I support an inclusive environment, and I support keeping wind energy and its contributions in our state.

Please contact your state legislator today and tell them to support wind. It takes all kinds of energy to power our state, our communities, our schools and our future.

Jim Roth is a representative of Advancing Wind, a grassroots group of businesses, civic organizations, educational entities and individuals committed to promoting wind energy in Oklahoma.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Print Headline: Powering our state takes all kinds of energy
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Jim Roth

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