wind energy

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel talk about Governor Fallin's eighth and final State of the State Address as well as a protest at the end of the speech and lawmakers begin voting on measures containing the Step Up Oklahoma plan.

Oklahoma taxpayers are fed up.

Riding high on the oil boom of the late 2000s, the state followed the Kansas model and slashed taxes. But the promised prosperity never came. In many cases, it was just the opposite.

facebook.com/StepUpOklahoma

A new poll shows broad support for the Step Up Oklahoma budget plan that was introduced by local civic and business leaders.

The survey from SoonerPoll shows nearly 70 percent of likely Oklahoma voters approve of the budget fix to raise $780 million in revenue through increased taxes in cigarettes, oil and gas, fuel, wind power and income.

SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard says this shows has broad based support.

As Oklahoma lawmakers deal with the current legislative session, they are also still holding a special session.

Legislative leaders are hoping to get bills heard in committee this week. The bills, crafted on recommendations from the business coalition Step Up Oklahoma, would raise taxes and create reforms in state government.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols says he’s hearing one main theme from lawmakers and constituents alike.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Developers recently announced plans to build the country’s largest wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The industry is growing and turbine projects are expanding across the state. But wind energy developers are facing a new headwind: military air bases.

The C-17 is the pack mule of the United States military. It’s designed to lift and transport troops, tanks and even helicopters. It’s an enormous aircraft that casts an ominous, looming shadow as it taxis to takeoff.

INVENERGY

The largest wind farm in the U.S. is under construction in Oklahoma’s panhandle, an 800-turbine project expected to deliver electricity to more than 1.1 million customers in four states.

Chicago power developer Invenergy and General Electric teamed up on the 2-gigawatt Wind Catcher Energy Connection facility, which should be online by 2020.

BILL WILSON / FLICKR/CC BY 2.0

The growing number of wind farms in western Oklahoma is disrupting military flight training, state aeronautics and military officials say.

The problem is concentrated along flight paths used for military training near Vance Air Force Base in Enid and Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird tells the Tulsa World’s Barbara Hoberock:

Steven Somsen's farm got a new addition last year, breaking up fields of wheat and soybeans that span as far as the eye can see from his rural North Dakota home.

"We ended up with some towers on our property," he says, nodding toward the giant, spinning, white wind turbines dotting the farmland around his house.

Xcel Energy, a Midwest-based utility, installed three on his land, among the 100 turbines placed near his remote community of Courtenay.

OAKLEYORIGINALS / FLICKR

Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed legislation bringing to an early end the last major tax incentive for the wind industry.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the state having to once again borrow money, this time $31M to pay for operational expenses, lawmakers sending Governor Fallin a measure to end tax credits for the wind industry this summer rather than in 2021 and an e-mail causes controversy when it warns House pages of "crossdressers" in the building.

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