Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 26, 2018
Sen. Mark Allen
Sen. Allen announces second meeting of 2018
Allen, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, announced Thursday
there would be a second meeting of the 2018 Energy Summit to examine
the economic impact of alternative energies in Oklahoma, including
wind, solar, hydropower and electric. The second meeting will be
held on Wednesday, January 31, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 535 of the
state Capitol. The meeting will be live-streamed.
Allen said that as lawmakers work to address budget and revenue
issues, it is crucial for them to understand the importance of the
energy industry in terms of jobs, economic impact and state revenue
from a variety of tax categories.
“I think the presentations at our first meeting did an excellent
job of showing how you cannot simply look at one area of taxation
when comparing Oklahoma to other states. You have to take a more
comprehensive look at all the ways these industries and their employees
contribute directly and indirectly to the state’s economy
and revenue collections,” said Allen, R-Spiro. “This
industry supports 1 in 6 jobs in Oklahoma. We have to look at the
big picture, as well as the unintended consequences that could actually
cost jobs and negatively impact our local and state economies.”
Presentations at the first meeting included a comparative study
of the 16 largest producing oil and gas states. The study not only
looked at severance taxes, but other areas, including ad valorem,
income and sales taxes. The study pointed out that some of those
states had no personal income tax, while others had no sales tax.
“We learned with recent changes, Oklahoma has the fifth highest
effective rate across the four taxes examined. If the two percent
GPT is raised to four percent, we would be ranked third and if it’s
raised to seven percent, we would be the second highest,”
Allen said. “Before additional tax changes are made, we need
to carefully examine how that could impact employment.”
In addition to oil and gas, there were also presentations on the
impact of the coal mining industry in Oklahoma.
Allen noted the coal industry provides well-paying jobs in some
of the highest unemployment areas of the state. Oklahoma has made
a minimal investment through a tax credit that produces far more
in economic benefits for our state than it costs.
“For example, look at AES Shady Point in Leflore County where
I live. They receive a tax benefit of about $4 million, but they
return $26 million in revenue to the state. The loss of that credit
would likely result in the loss of about 2,000 jobs in that county,
which already has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.
The effect would be devastating for Oklahoma citizens,” Allen
For more information, contact:
Sen. Allen: (405) 521-5576