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Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer

Billionaire Philip Anschutz—who has built his fortune in oil, railroads, and entertainment—has been named the most influential individual in wind energy in the annual Top 100 Power People report by industry intelligence service, A Word About Wind.

According to the publication, Anschutz has taken the top spot because he is seen as a kind of opposition figure to anti-wind messages by President Trump.

Anschutz’s current net worth is US$12.4 billion, and he started building his empire mainly with the oil company he took over from his father in the 1960s. But his involvement in the energy sector goes beyond oil.

Anschutz is proposing to build the biggest U.S. onshore wind farm in Wyoming via the Power Company of Wyoming, a unit of The Anschutz Corporation. Anschutz also owns NHL’s Kings and a third of the Lakers, plus the building they play in, the Staples Center, and a number of other venues in the U.S. and around the world.

Commenting on the Top 100 Power People In Wind ranking, A Word About Wind’s Editor Richard Heap told North America Clean Energy:

“While our focus is global, this year’s Top 100 Power People ranking has been significantly influenced by determined participants in the US wind sector – from financial service providers to developers and utilities – who have refused to let their enthusiasm be dampened by Trump’s public derision of renewables.”

Related: Keystone XL Pipeline Gains Approval After A 9-Year Battle

“Aside from this, the fact that our top spot has been taken by Philip Anschutz, a man with a highly successful track record in business but little previous involvement in clean energy, is testament to the exciting position the wind industry finds itself in,” Heap added. “It shows that people are starting to realise that renewables, even without their other benefits, simply make the most business sense – both in the US and worldwide,” he noted.

Power Company of Wyoming’s Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is an up to 1,000-turbine wind farm in Carbon County, Wyoming. The wind farm is planned to have a nameplate capacity of 3,000 megawatts and is estimated to cost US$5 billion. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Lee James on November 22 2017 said:
    Perhaps Mr. Anschutz regards his investment in fossil fuel as not only a continuation of family interests, but also that fossil fuels are needed in the transition to sustainable energy.

    The question for all of us is, how quickly do we transition away from burning fossil fuels?

    The U.S. is fortunate to have considerable private-sector leadership in clean energy.

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