Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Oklahoma Still Top 10 in Wind, Industry Says Presidential Politics Could Blow Growth

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Canadian Valley Technical Center wind energy student Jessie Bean stands near of a 13-story wind turbine in El Reno.

Oklahoma is No. 8 in the nation for wind-generation capacity, according to a new report by the Energy Department, but uncertainty over a federal tax credit could hamper wind production here and across the U.S.

The Sooner State added 500 megawatts of wind capacity from 2010 to 2011, but it’s ranking remained unchanged, reports The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies. New wind farms are being developed near Enid and in the Panhandle, but industry officials say growth depends upon a federal wind production tax credit.

The Oklahoman:

Uncertainty over the credit’s future led wind-tower manufacturer DMI Industries to announce the closure of two factories last week, including one in Tulsa. More than 165 people will be laid off in Tulsa by November after current orders are fulfilled, parent company Otter Tail Corp. said.

The tax credit has become a presidential campaign issue, too. President Barack Obama wants to keep it; presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it, which “puts him at odds with several Republican lawmakers and governors,” Monies reports.

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