The Wind Coalition’s president, Jeffrey Clark, released the following statement in response to a new “poll” released by Sooner Poll in Oklahoma:
This push piece is more proselytizing than polling. It is part of an ongoing and orchestrated campaign of anti-wind misinformation, funded by a small group of wealthy oil executives and designed to divert attention from the true source of Oklahoma’s fiscal challenges: the numerous and overly generous tax breaks the backers of these groups receive. They have spent years misleading lawmakers by trafficking in ridiculous assertions and flawed data.
Their work is a disservice to the people and to the State of Oklahoma.
Their campaign has damaged the investment climate and business reputation of the state by attacking one of the few industries reliably making major new capital investments. As the words of their campaign have been carried into the legislature by their political supporters, anxious investors around the world and across all industries are expressing concern. Can Oklahoma be relied upon as a trusted business partner?
Their fact-free campaign of demagoguery has demonized some of America’s largest energy investors and energy customers. With their rhetoric attacking “out of state” companies, they make investors of all types hesitant to bring much-needed, job creating capital into the state. With their efforts to rescind tax incentives already granted, they make prospective investors of all types hesitant to take the state at its word.
Their continued assault on wind energy – and energy investors at large – will mean less tax revenue for public schools, lost opportunities for farmers and ranchers, higher energy prices for consumers, and lost economic growth and jobs for rural Oklahoma. Ironically, because wind energy and natural gas are highly complementary, their inaccurate attacks have also hurt markets for Oklahoma’s natural gas and have kept the state addicted to imported coal.
At the end of the day, the work of these groups has harmed the economy, business reputation, and future of the State Oklahoma. The impending negative consequences lie squarely at their feet. It is time for leaders in Oklahoma to hold these groups accountable for the misinformation they peddle, to challenge their persistent deceptions and inaccurate data, and to hold them to account for their own rich tax incentives.