Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday reiterated her support of the federal production tax credit for wind energy, which expires Dec. 31.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t want to renew the credit, which other GOP governors in wind-producing states support. The wind industry supports more than 3,000 jobs in Oklahoma, Fallin tells The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies, and the issue highlights a rare split between Oklahoma’s governor and the GOP presidential candidate:
“I agree with Governor Romney on 99 percent of the issues,” Fallin said Monday in an interview with The Oklahoman from the Southern States Energy Board in Oklahoma City. “But on this one, I’ve got to do what’s best for our state.”
President Barack Obama supports extending the tax credit.
Uncertainty over the tax credit — which returns 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to wind producers — has already been cited in wind industry layoffs and factory closures, including downsizing here in Oklahoma. In August, Tulsa-based wind tower manufacturer DMI Industries said it would close its plant and layoff more than 165 people.
A study for the American Wind Energy Association predicts up to 37,000 jobs could be at risk if the credit expires.