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House Committee Approves Bill Restricting Wind Industry

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

A bill adding new regulations on Oklahoma’s booming wind industry passed a House committee Tuesday. The proposed legislation would place limits on where companies can build new wind farms.

The House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 in approving House Bill 1549. The measure would prevent new wind farms from being built near schools, hospitals or airports. State Rep. Earl Sears(R-Bartlesville) says landowners and the wind industry were consulted when crafting his legislation.

"There’s no hidden agenda there. I’m a schoolman," Sears says. "I have family that may periodically have to go to a hospital, and I don’t want our pilots worried about it.”

Under the bill, wind companies would have to notify nearby landowners before construction and hold a public hearing. The measure also requires stricter proof of wind project financing and turbine decommissioning. 

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Joe was a founding reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma (2011-2019) covering the intersection of economic policy, energy and environment, and the residents of the state. He previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly arts and entertainment correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla. and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
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