A new report shows that government restrictions on federal lands in the Rocky Mountains is blocking more than 200,000 jobs, $26.5 billion in annual gross regional product and more than $5 billion in tax revenue.
The study, released by The Sutherland Institute Center for Self Government in the West, points out that government regulations have choked economic potential in the development of natural resources in seven Rocky Mountain states: Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada and Idaho.
While crude oil output on federal lands in the region increased almost 14 percent since 2009, according to the Sutherland study, production on private lands has increased twice as much, at 28 percent.
Natural gas production from public lands has actually declined on federal lands by 5.4 percent since 2009 compared with a 0.9 percent increase on private lands, according to the Sutherland study.
Data compiled by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration shows oil output on federal lands decreased in 2012 after increasing during the two previous years.
Nearly 50 percent of all land in the western states are owned by the federal government.