top of page

Economics of Limiting Oil and Gas on Public Lands in Western Colorado

In this economic brief, we investigate the regional economic effects of protecting public lands from future oil and gas leasing. We look at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Resource Management Plans (RMPs) in Western Colo­rado. With the planning process revolving around the allo­cation of BLM lands as open or closed for oil and gas leasing, there are questions about the economic implications of the BLM’s decision.

The Palisade.jpg

Economic Transition Away from Federal Oil and Gas in Western CO

To illuminate the regional economics associated with federal oil and gas production in Western Colorado, and in relation to the current BLM planning process, we provide an economic brief that summarizes the minor, and declining, role of oil and gas production in the regional economies of Mesa and Garfield Counties and investigate an economic transition away from federal oil and gas leasing in the region.

Western colorado mtbiking cover shot.jpg

Methane Waste Reduction Economics

The U.S. Department of the Interior has revised federal oil and gas rules in order reduce natural gas waste.  We conducted a case study of two counties in the San Juan Basin of northwest New Mexico. We estimate that detecting and repairing leaks at natural gas well pads will have a positive effect on production and royalties in the San Juan Basin.  Our analysis indicates that capturing the methane currently wasted provides a win-win scenario for the environment and for industry’s bottom line.

Reviewing Industry Arguments against the BLM Methane Rule


The BLM’s methane waste prevention Rule helps ensure a fair return to taxpayers from oil and gas development on public and tribal lands.  Despite the beneficial aspects of the Rule, the oil and gas industry wants the Rule repealed based on claims of economic hardship. Due to the conflicting rhetoric on the economic effects of the Rule, we reviewed industry arguments against the Rule. 

Oil and Gas Royalties on Public Lands

Oil and gas development on public lands is threatening the sustainability of wildlife and ecosystem service production, and can be detrimental to community development. To help inform policy on drilling on public lands, CEI recently submitted extensive economic arguments to the BLM describing how royalty rates for onshore oil and gas leasing should be calculated and increased. As part of our service work, we have provided a summary of our economic arguments to the BLM for the public to use and adapt. If you would like the full set of comments, please contact us.  

Credit: Ecoflight
bottom of page