Oklahoma House votes to take away wind industry incentives

FILE - In this Monday, June 12, 2017 file photo, wind turbines are pictured near El Reno, Okla. Oklahoma rolled out the red carpet to the growing wind industry two decades ago with the promise of generous state tax incentives and a steady stream of wind sweeping down the Central Plains. But with budget shortfalls that have persisted for several years, lawmakers have already scaled back almost all of the incentives and are now looking to impose a new production tax on the industry. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

(AP) -- The Oklahoma House has narrowly voted to take away millions of dollars' worth of state incentives for the wind industry.

The House voted 51-46 on Wednesday to eliminate the refundability of tax credits the state currently offers for electricity produced by wind, beginning in 2019. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill faced bipartisan opposition from members who argued the state used the tax incentives to encourage the industry to expand in Oklahoma and are now unfairly taking the incentives away.

As the number of wind farms has skyrocketed in Oklahoma, so too has the cost to the state's treasury. The bill's author, Republican Rep. Jeff Coody, says the state spent about $70 million on the incentives last year.

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