OCPA and Rep. McBride Have a Message for Investors Outside of Oklahoma: Keep Out

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma –  Today’s news conference with Representative Mark McBride and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) felt like a meeting of the Oklahoma Economic Suicide Club, according to the president of The Wind Coalition:

“With paid rhetorical flair, Representative McBride and OCPA misled the public again on the impacts of renewable energy investments in Oklahoma, and called for changes that are not conservative, not business friendly and not good for Oklahoma’s business reputation or economy,” Jeff Clark said. “They called for removing the state’s sales tax exemption for wind, but keeping it for oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturers, other electricity producers and every other industry that currently qualifies to receive it.”

“Most disturbingly, especially in what has always been a pro-business state, OCPA and Representative McBride argued that Oklahoma should break its word and not honor its commitment to investors who have brought more than $13 billion to the state, and who have created more than 8,000 jobs.  Investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley should take note: the state’s largest conservative advocacy group, joined by the vice chairman of the House Energy Committee, is calling for the state to withhold tax incentives already earned.  They are calling for new taxes on investors, specifically targeting them because they are from outside the state of Oklahoma. Every potential investor should ask whether Oklahoma can be counted on as a trustworthy business partner, or is the McBride/OCPA message a sign that Oklahoma is becoming a risky, anti-outsider, anti-investment state?  This unhinged rhetoric from Representative McBride and OCPA is economic suicide for Oklahoma.”

“Representative McBride and OCPA, along with its undisclosed funders, are attacking renewable energy to keep it from growing in Oklahoma, and in the process they are harming school funding, preventing the diversification of the state’s economy and are posting a “Keep Out” sign for any investors outside their circle of friends, or outside of Oklahoma. Representative McBride and OCPA continue to ignore the facts on wind and its incentives. Over the last three legislative sessions, every wind energy incentive has ended with the understanding that funds would be freed up for public education.  Earlier this year on July 1st, the last incentive, the Zero Emission Tax Credit ended. Representative McBride and OCPA also ignore the fact that wind energy is saving consumers money, is bringing new jobs to the state, and is providing a critical source of income to farmers and ranchers who host wind projects.  And, they ignore the fact that wind and natural gas are highly complementary and work together to end Oklahoma’s reliance on imported coal.  Their rhetoric does more for Wyoming’s coal producers than it does for Oklahoma’s energy industries.”

“They titled their report “Big Wind vs. Oklahoma Oil and Gas” in a transparent effort to pit the industries against each other.  Nothing could be more misguided or more economically harmful to the state of Oklahoma’s economy.  Companies investing in Oklahoma wind, including those listed in their report, are also some of Oklahoma’s largest natural gas purchasers.  Wind and natural gas are natural partners with wind bringing long-term low, stable prices and natural gas providing high reliability and flexibility.  Some of the wind companies they attacked are also in the oil and gas industry.  The wind industry will continue to work with reasonable members of the oil and gas community to grow the Oklahoma energy economy, not allowing a small group of rabid anti-renewable political activists to destroy this collaboration.”