Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Big bet on Wyoming wind: Phil Anschutz's latest $9 billion idea
Phil Anschutz — who has made money out of everything from a well explosion to a failing railroad — is looking to wager $9 billion on the fierce winds of Wyoming. Anschutz's Power Company of Wyoming is seeking to build the nation's largest wind farm and then ship the power to California over a 725-mile transmission line, the longest to be built in decades. California is the West's biggest renewable-energy market and a vital one for the project. The problem is that officials there say they don't want Anschutz's electricity. Gov. Jerry Brown has voiced a strong preference for in-state renewable-energy projects, and California utility executives say they can meet renewable- energy requirements with projects close to home. That has not deterred the 73-year-old Denver billionaire, who has made invention and shifting strategy his hallmarks. Just a few years ago, Anschutz put his Wyoming property — the 320,000-acre Overland Trail Cattle Ranch near Rawlins — up for sale with an asking price of $45 million. The ranch was owned by Anschutz Exploration Co., an oil and gas driller. "Then we saw an opportunity to develop a large infrastructure project to tap a new market," said Bill Miller, who went from head of the drilling company to the wind company's chief executive officer. The current Wyoming project, however, is no simple gas well. The Sierra Madre and Chokecherry Wind Project would put 1,000 wind turbines on 2,000 acres at a cost of up to $6 billion. The TransWest power line, a $3 billion project, would carry the wind farm's 3,000 megawatts of power across four states to a point south of Las Vegas, where it could connect with the California power grid...more
One has to wonder just how much of that $9 billion will be subsidized by the taxpayers.