Leaders say energy holds key to state's future

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Energy experts say increasing Oklahoma's use of renewable energy could have tremendous benefits for the state, but policymakers say mandates aren't the way to achieve that goal.

At a forum on energy policy Monday at Oklahoma Christian University, House Speaker Chris Benge described renewable portfolio standards as a "non-starter" in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Such standards currently are in place in more than 30 states. They require electric utilities to obtain some of their power from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

Benge, R-Tulsa, says those types of industry mandates are never popular in the Oklahoma Legislature.

But Benge says renewable energy sources like wind and solar will play an important role in Oklahoma's energy future.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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