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The Texas Wind Estate: Wind as a Natural Resource and a Severable Property Interest

37 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010 Last revised: 19 Feb 2011

Alan J. Alexander

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: February 16, 2011

Abstract

In 2011, Texas is again at the forefront of an energy boom: the wind energy boom. In 2006, Texas surpassed California and became the U.S. state with the most installed capacity to produce wind energy, and Texas’ level of installed capacity has continued to grow. But the law has not kept pace with this growth. Similar to the initial growth of the oil and gas industry in Texas, the wind energy industry was also born, and continues to grow, in the absence of clear legal and regulatory standards. Lack of regulation in the early development of the oil industry contributed to oversupply and rampant waste of oil. Similarly, lack of regulation of the developing wind energy industry could lead to wasteful practices regarding wind energy development. This Note argues that the Texas Legislature should pass laws clarifying that wind is a natural resource under the Texas Constitution, and that to promote “[t]he conservation and development” of wind as a natural resource, the Legislature should statutorily recognize wind rights as an interest severable from land ownership.

Keywords: wind, wind energy, Texas, natural resource, severance, severability, property, ownership, interest, regulation, energy, oil and gas

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K19, K32, Q15, Q24, Q25, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q48

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Alan J., The Texas Wind Estate: Wind as a Natural Resource and a Severable Property Interest (February 16, 2011). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 429, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584346

Alan J. Alexander (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

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