Energy

Across the country, there are a variety of approaches to incentivizing and managing energy development. Ongoing research points to ways that government at various levels can maximize benefits while minimizing the costs of energy development

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Coal Communities Lack Strong Transition Plans

— A recent review published in the Resources Policy journal with researchers at Montana State University shows that coal communities lack strong transition plans and largely are unprepared for coming changes.

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coal fiscal policies
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Comparing Coal Fiscal Policies for Western States

— Coal fiscal policies vary widely across the West in terms of how revenue is generated, set aside in permanent savings, or spent by state and local governments.

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Communities at Risk from Closing Coal Plants

— This post compares economic and demographic characteristics of communities where coal-fired power plants have recently retired or are scheduled to retire.

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Time to Create a Natural Resources Trust

— Unlike most countries and state governments, the U.S. has not created a natural resources trust which could help meet volatility and spending challenges facing local and county governments.

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DataViz / Series: State Energy Policies

What Do Local Governments Receive from Oil and Gas Production Taxes?

— Compare the effectiveness of states’ oil and natural gas tax policies to see which states ensure that tax revenue is available in the right amount, time, and location to manage drilling-related increases in the local demand for services. See which states invest in long-term infrastructure and economic diversification.

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Headwaters-staff-Mark-Haggerty
Mark Haggerty
Blog

Changed Electric Power Markets Create New Volatility for Coal

— Lower overall coal generating capacity—the outcome of coal fired power plant retirements and a demand for coal that rises and falls depending on natural gas prices—will create new volatility for coal jobs and for counties, schools, and states that depend on tax revenues from coal.

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Planning for Montana’s Energy Transition

— While Montana is likely to experience relatively small impacts, coal-dependent communities in Eastern Montana are likely to feel the acute effects of job losses and declining tax revenue in the coming decades.

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Coal Royalty Reform: Impact on Prices, Production, and State Revenue

— The proposed federal coal royalty reform rule could have substantial revenue benefits for federal and state governments, limited impact on coal production or prices on federal lands, and increased transparency.

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Headwaters-staff-Mark-Haggerty
Mark Haggerty
Blog

Time for a U.S. Natural Resources Trust?

— Compared to other nations and even U.S. states, the federal government is a conspicuous laggard in creating a natural resources trust which would allow for stable, permanent, and ever rising payments to states and local governments without risks to taxpayers.

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Benefits of Renewable Energy in the West Vary Widely

— The West is rich in renewable energy opportunities, but research demonstrates that property tax revenues from this development vary widely across 17 rural study counties due to state tax policies.

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How Is Fracking Shaping Your Community and Economy?

— Monitoring can help local governments better understand the socioeconomic impacts caused by energy development, and support requests to industry and state government for assistance to implement appropriate mitigation.

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Fiscal Lessons for State and Local Governments

— This report explores the challenges for states and local communities caused by unconventional oil and natural gas development, and fiscal best practices that address them.

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power line and wires
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The Proposed SunZia Transmission Line: A Guide for Decision Makers

— This report analyzes the proposed SunZia transmission line, finding that the project, as currently configured, depends on its ability to export renewable energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California.

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solar power installation
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Green Jobs Metrics

— This research summary offers an overview of efforts to quantify the national green economy in terms of job creation from several perspectives.

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drilling rig
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Report: Colorado’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry

— This graphical analysis reviews the status of Colorado's oil and gas industry including production, drilling activity, tax policy, its role in Colorado’s economy.

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Clean Energy Transmission

— Headwaters Economics analyzed transmission infrastructure issues from the perspective of regional economic development, and other topics most relevant to local and state decision makers.

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Image of rig count interactive
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County Level Drilling Activity, 2001-2011

— This report focuses on county-level details of drilling rig activity for the period 2001 to 2011 in the six Rocky Mountain oil and gas states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

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Rig Worker in Western Colorado
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Fossil Fuel Extraction and Western Economies

— This study analyzes the fossil fuel economy in five Rocky Mountain states—CO, MT, NM, UT, and WY—and how states and communities can maximize benefits and minimize the costs of energy development.

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Oil Shale: 14 Unanswered Questions

— This report summarizes research and policy documents, and provides a brief overview of the status of oil shale development in the U.S. West.

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