March 14, 2018
Letters, Oklahoma

Reader urges interested land owners to provide input regarding wind farms

The News | March 13, 2018 |

Landowners, PSO utility customers and anyone that will be negatively impacted by the PSO Wind Catcher project, the time to protest PSO’s preapproval request before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is about to run out! The commissioners will hear PSO’s request for an exception to the negative ruling by Administrative Law Judge Mary Chandler on March 14. The commissioners will rule on this case soon afterwards.

PSO requested preapproval for their Wind Catcher project in order to qualify for very generous federal subsidies, which over the lifetime of this wind farm will amount to some 4.5 billion dollars. Plus a 30% construction tax deduction. These subsidies begin to diminish after 2020, hence the rush to get preapproval.

I urge you to write the commissioners and voice your opinion.

Please keep in mind that the commission’s job is to rule on the merits of this case in relation to rate hikes for PSO customers. These rate hikes will provide a significant financial contribution to this project. These have nothing to do with siting issues!

Help make your case by pointing out how this transmission line and the associated rate hikes will affect you. Landowners will benefit by indicating how unfair this proposal is and how it will negatively affect your property. You can send pictures if you wish.

Ratepayers should explain how this PSO boondoggle will negatively impact both you and your family members. PSO’s self-serving studies say Wind Catcher will save their customers money. In fact, the project most likely will raise your rates! Especially vulnerable are Oklahoma’s senior citizens, the disabled and veterans, just to name a few. To add insult to injury 70% of the electricity from this project will go out of state.

Among the following are some of the reasons Judge Chandler ruled against PSO, including points that need to be emphasized in correspondence with the Commissioners. Judge Chandler ruled that PSO had not proven a need to supply generating capacity for future demands for renewable energy. Nor is it needed for future regulations of carbon emission. She also ruled that the Wind Catcher project is not driven by a need for more energy, but driven by economic need, which will be met in the form of exceedingly generous federal subsidies. Other points she made were that the project was initiated before obtaining preapproval and that PSO circumvented the law by not submitting the project for open bidding.

These companies will tell you how much they are doing for our schools and statewide economy while omitting the fact that the taxpayers of Oklahoma covered the entirety of their property taxes for the first five years, or until 2017. This cost our state millions of dollars. Also, through slick lawyering wind companies can now declare a double tax depreciation that is very rare for any other company, a move that will cost our schools millions! In Harper County alone it will cost our schools $3,403,856.56 over the 25 year life spans of these wind farms.

It is time to stand up and fight back. I urge you to write the commissioners either as a group or individually immediately!

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

PO Box 52000: Attention: PSO Wind Catcher case

Oklahoma City, OK 73152 2000

Here are their names if you want to send individual letters Vice Chair Todd Hiett, Commissioner Bob Anthony, and Dana Murphy.

Sue Selman

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