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Oklahoma Bill Targeting Major Wind Project Withdrawn

A wind turbine under assembly near Balko in Oklahoma's Panhandle. When completed, the turbine will be part of D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments' 300-megawatt Balko Wind Project.
Joe Wertz
/
StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill to redefine public utilities in Oklahoma has been withdrawn amid concerns it would threaten plans for a major electricity transmission project connecting state wind farms to consumers in the South and on the East Coast.

Republican Rep. Todd Thomsen of Ada withdrew his bill from consideration after members of the House Utilities Committee complained it would threaten the Plains & Eastern Clean Line.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's chief of staff, Melissa Houston, says her office requested the bill amid concerns from Oklahoma landowners about the use of federal eminent domain powers to acquire land for the project.

The company plans to invest about $1 billion in Oklahoma constructing a transmission line from the Oklahoma Panhandle, across Oklahoma and Arkansas, to Tennessee.

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