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March 27, 2014

Study unveils wind industry contributed more than $1B to state

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Among those leading the push for regulation are the Oklahoma Property Rights Association and Claremore businessman Frank Robson. In a statement, the group said it hasn’t had time to review the study but continues “to support sensible laws to protect property owners from the potentially negative long-term effects of industrial wind energy.

“We aren’t against the development of wind energy,” the group said. “But as it stands today, wind companies can do what they want, when they want and how they want with no regard for the impact to the people of Oklahoma.”

The group also said the wind industry is thriving because of “significant state subsidies,” and wind developments benefit from a five-year exemption on property taxes.

Flanked by wind developers and state officials, Michael Teague, the state Secretary of Energy and Environment, said that Oklahoma is No. 6 in the nation in wind energy capacity. Wind farms produce about 15 percent of the state's energy — enough to power about 770,000 homes, according to the study.

“We’re going to continue to see more wind projects,” Teague said, adding that technology makes it possible to harness wind power in eastern Oklahoma, even though the wind isn’t as strong there as it is in the western part of the state.

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