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Denver Billionaire Backs Wind Power

By Ny Kent Bernhard, Jr.
National Green News
July 31, 2008


The Anschutz Corporation, through Transwest Express LLC, has secured the rights
to develop a transmission line from wind farms in southern Wyoming to Southern
California, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Installation of the 900-mile, 3,000-megawatt
line would cost $3 billion and the project could supply 25 percent of 2020's
renewable energy needs in the Southwest.

“There is good reason to be optimistic that wind-generated power in Wyoming can
actually be delivered to markets in the Desert Southwest through a major
wind-dedicated transmission system,” said Bill Miller, president of TransWest.

Anschutz is getting in on a game where the most visible billionaire has been T.
Boone Pickens. Pickens is developing the world's biggest wind farm. He has
launched a campaign to have wind become the new natural gas and shift natural
gas used for power generation into powering automobiles.

On the transmission end of the equation, much of the action is also taking place
in Texas, which leads the nation for wind power. The Lone Star State's Public
Utilities Commission this month approved a $4.93 billion plan to build
transmission lines from breezy West Texas to population centers like Dallas and
Austin.

The action in the states and by business people like Anschutz and Pickens
contrasts with a lack of action in Washington on the renewable energy front.

The U.S. Senate, after four days of debate earlier this Summer, decided not to
decide on the Lieberman-Warner bill that would have set caps on carbon emissions
to reduce the greenhouse gas.

Congress and the White House have also failed to extend the life of sustainable
energy tax breaks that have contributed to a boom in the solar and wind energy
spheres. Congress is wrangling over how to pay for the credits, and after four
tries has failed to come to terms.

This week marked the latest attempt in the U.S. Senate, Greentech Media reports.
Democratic leaders tried to bring the extension to a vote, but didn't have the
60 votes necessary to bring the measure to the floor. The tax credits are set to
expire Dec. 31.

 

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