Colorado House Bill 1105 recently cleared the House Agriculture Committee. It would establish "a nonseverable wind energy right in real property."
Creating nonseverable rights wouldn’t stop wind development. It would only require a separate “wind energy agreement,” that would have to be recorded with the county clerk.
Professor K.K. DuVivier, testified on behalf of the bill. She is knowledgeable about the topic and has written several articles concerning the matter such as, “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral - Wind? The Severed Wind Power Rights Conundrum.” Click here to access some of her articles.
An article published by the "Colorado News Agency" recalls that she said that only six states have passed laws that prohibit the splitting of wind and surface rights. Texas, a state that has not, produces far more wind energy than any other state and the severed rights have caused many problems for those owning the land, she said.
Professor K.K. DuVivier urged lawmakers to keep the wind rights in the surface estate. She noted that wind farms require long-term and extensive use not only of the surface land but of the area immediately above and below it for transmission, distribution, and collection lines. “Without legislative guidance, courts logically turn to precedents defining the status of other resources, such as oil or water,” she wrote in an article for the Washburn Law Journal. “Yet, defaulting to traditional models is unlikely to encourage the best development of our country's wind resources.”
Professor K.K. DuVivier was interviewed on Colorado Public Radio about the topic.