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Wyoming Faces Energy Crossroads As Billionaire Builds Largest Wind Farm

By Brian Spaen

Wyoming is a potential hotbed for wind energy, but it’s not being taken advantage of. The state has passed taxes on the renewable source and they’re trying to push it even higher. That hasn’t stopped a billionaire from wanting to build an extravagant wind farm that has pushed more discussion on the future of Wyoming’s energy production.

Philip Anschutz is a billionaire and entrepreneur who has thrived off of his father’s drilling company in Wyoming. He’s gone on to invest in various sports and entertainment entities like numerous Major League Soccer teams and arenas. He also has an interest in bringing over 1,000 wind turbines to Carbon County, Wyoming. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project would be the largest wind farm in the United States and would generate up to three gigawatts of power.

Despite being known for its vast amount of coal, the state also receives lots of wind from the Rocky Mountains. In order to protect the state’s thriving coal industry, legislation was passed to tax wind by $1 per megawatt-hour. New laws tried to push that tax up by five times the amount, but it failed to go through. Despite its failure, it shows how much pushback there is from the government at adopting wind turbines.