A pair of bills that will give Oklahomans who choose alternative energy to heat and cool their homes and run their vehicles a break on their taxes continue their way through the state’s legislature.
This story from The Daily Oklahoman says House Speaker Chris Benge’s bills are designed to lessen the dependence on foreign oil and could be applied nationally:
House Bill 1948 would provide a 5 percent tax credit for residents and businesses who would buy a geothermal heat pump system. House Bill 1949 is intended to double the number of publicly available compressed natural gas fueling stations and give Oklahomans tax credits to help them make a transition to alternative fuel vehicles.
Benge, R-Tulsa, said other energy-related measures to be taken up this session deal with solar, nuclear and wind power.
It’s estimated HB 1948 would cost the state about $850,000 a year while no estimate has determined yet how much HB 1949 would cost, Benge said.
Benge authored HB 1949 last summer when gasoline prices were about $4 a gallon in the state. Gasoline prices have dropped more than half since then, but Benge said it’s still important for Oklahoma to push an energy plan.
“Once the economy picks back up, we’re expecting the gasoline prices to go up again because that demand’s going to be there,” he said.