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Energy

Corporation Commission Considering Wind Energy Regulations

A wind farm outside of Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma.
Logan Layden
/
StateImpact Oklahoma
A wind farm outside of Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Tuesday ended its four-month inquiry into wind energy development in Oklahoma. The examination could lead to new rules, though it’s not clear what they might be or which agency would enforce them.

The commission heard from vocal landowners for and against wind farms. Developers lauded the economic potential of Oklahoma’s wind, while conservationists and Indian tribes warned that, left unchecked, turbines would kill threatened bird species and ruin delicate grasslands.

“Our state is the wild, wild west of wind development," said Osage Nation representative Penny Gann Bradford. "Wind developers are drawn to states and areas with little no regulations, such as Oklahoma. The lack of regulation is no cause for pride.”

The three commissioners are now considering a formal rule-making process, but they seemed reluctant to play any role in turbine siting, the most controversial part of wind development.

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