Reports Help Community Leaders Better Understand Costs and Benefits of Fossil Fuel Development

Our newsletter on reports to help community leaders better understand energy’s west-wide impacts: Energy and the West.

To help community leaders better understand energy’s west-wide impacts, Headwaters Economics is publishing a series of reports, Energy and the West. Read more about them in our latest newsletter or click here to go to our energy research page and the full reports. Headwaters also is pursuing more detailed state and county-level case studies for four states: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming.


  • Energy plays only a small revenue role in most western states and many are doing a poor job of capturing tax benefits from oil and natural gas development. (See page one.)
  • The West is less dependent on fossil fuel extraction than in the past and almost 90 percent of economic growth in the West during the last three decades came from service-related occupations, and retirement and investment income. (See page two.)
  • Only 26 of 414 western counties (6%) today are energy dependent, and these energy-focused counties underperform economically compared to their peers with little or no energy extraction. (See page three.)