Key Points:

  • President-Elect Joe Biden has pledged to eliminate oil-and-gas permitting on federal lands.
  • The ban would eliminate more than 72,000 jobs per year over the next four years, reaching around 351,555 in total between 2036 and 2040.
  • Western states, including Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, California, and Alaska, would be most affected.
  • Restricting US production would likely be offset by higher production in countries like Saudi Arabia and Mexico, so reduced emissions aren’t guaranteed.

Economist Corner:

The United States is the largest oil and gas producer in the world. Many leaders, including President-Elect Joe Biden, have pledged to combat emissions by restricting production on federal lands.

The University of Wyoming’s study looked at key oil and gas producers in the United States. It found that eight western states—responsible for 97% of oil and gas production—would bear the brunt of the economic fallout caused by oil and gas permitting restrictions.

Over the next four years, hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost, as well as billions of dollars in GDP and state tax revenue. Reducing emissions this way would come at a high cost to many Western working families and communities—costs they may not be able to survive.