Environmental and Land Use Regulation in Nonrenewable Resource Industries: Implications from the Wyoming Checkerboard

Mitch Kunce, Shelby Gerking and William Morgan


This paper examines how the oil and gas industry responds to changes in environmental and land use regulations pertaining to drilling by examining differences in regulatory practices on federal and private land. A simulation model for Wyoming is used to estimate losses of oil and gas output over the next 60 years because of higher drilling costs found on federal property. The present value of these losses comes to about $800 million. Also, this case study is of interest because it shows that future production is more sensitive to changes in environmental regulations that apply to drilling than to changes in severance taxes levied on production. (JEL Q24, Q32)

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