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Drill baby drill? Political influence on federal onshore oil and gas leasing in the Western United States

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  • Karen Maguire

    () (Oklahoma State University)

Abstract

Abstract This paper examines the influence of the federal political environment on the number and acres of leases issued for oil and natural gas development on bureau of land management lands in the western United States between 1983 and 2007. Using a fixed effects Tobit model for a 17-state sample of the westernmost states in the contiguous United States, the findings indicate that regulatory shifts played a significant role in determining the type of leasing. In particular, the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987 led to an increase in competitive leasing and a decline in non-competitive leasing. Unexpectedly, the party and ideology of relevant federal political actors did not consistently have a significant influence on leasing. More conservative U.S. Senate leadership led to increased competitive leasing, but did not have a significant effect on non-competitive leasing. While for the House of Representatives, Democratic alignment, between the U.S. Congressional leadership and the state delegation to the House, led to decreased leasing. The effects of Federal politics on leasing varied by the branch of Congress and the type of lease issued.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Maguire, 2016. "Drill baby drill? Political influence on federal onshore oil and gas leasing in the Western United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 131-164, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:17:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10101-015-0163-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10101-015-0163-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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