Journal of Statistical and Econometric Methods

Costs of Biological and Cultural Resource Protection to the U.S. Natural Gas Industry

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  • Abstract

    Using a unique land transaction from the 1860s in the Western U.S., this paper examines whether the presence of biological and cultural resources on private and federal land increase drilling costs to the U.S. natural gas industry. Our results suggest that the presence of these resources can increase costs, but the effect depends on the land type and which resources are being protected. The presence of threatened and endangered species increase drilling costs significantly on both federal and private lands; whereas the existence of migratory wildlife like elk and pronghorn does not. Cultural resources have a differentiated impact-they raise drilling costs significantly on federal lands, but not on private lands.  


    JEL classification numbers: C23, Q58.

    Keywords: Endangered Species, U.S. Natural Gas, Cultural Resources, Drilling Costs.