Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law an eminent domain measure that protects rural landowners from the threat of companies looking for locations to build wind turbines.
The bill’s author, Sen. Ron Justice, of Chickasha, said wind power provides a tremendous boost to the state’s economy, but he said it is important to protect landowners’ rights.
The law was heralded by a northwest Oklahoma property owners group.
“The Southern Great Plains Property Rights Coalition supports any legislation which will help landowners protect their property now and for future generations,” the group said Friday. “We feel this is a step in the right direction since the use of eminent domain for profit is becoming a hot topic.”
The law prohibits use of the power of eminent domain for the siting or erection of wind turbines on private land. It says landowners have the right to decide whether they want turbines on their land.
Justice said Senate Bill 124 was requested by landowners who were approached by wind industry representatives who mentioned the possible use of eminent domain.
Jaime McAlpine of Chermac Energy Corp. said wind developers and utility companies helped craft the bill’s language.
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