Regulating the Upstream Energy Industry: Getting the Balance Right – Pacific Research Institute

Regulating the Upstream Energy Industry: Getting the Balance Right

Read Full Study

New Study: State Regulations Have Outsized Impact on Energy Industry’s Health

SAN FRANCISCO (May 31) — Natural resources don’t respect state boundaries. Consequently, states’ energy regulations are among the prime determinants of whether a state benefits from its resource wealth — or lets those benefits accrue to its neighbors.

According to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute, Regulating the Upstream Industry: Getting the Balance Right, the regulatory difference can be worth billions of dollars a year.

“The energy industry is crucial to the American economy,” said Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., PRI Senior Fellow and the author of the study. “Unfortunately, many states are crippling energy production — and the economic benefits it brings — with heavy-handed regulations.”

For instance, firms in both Pennsylvania and New York operate natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania has embraced modern drilling techniques and added over 214,000 jobs in industries tied to the Marcellus Shale. By contrast, New York, which has banned all fracking technologies, will lose $11 billion of economic output from 2011 to 2020.

The difference is even more apparent in the labor market. The unemployment rate in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, has dropped to 5.8 percent and continues to fall. The unemployment rate in Broome County, New York — just a stone’s throw away — has stayed at 8 percent for years.

The PRI study also examines the impact of state regulations on the energy industries of Montana and North Dakota, both of which sit on the Bakken Formation, as well as that of California.

“The energy industry supports thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity,” said Winegarden. “With energy prices as volatile as ever, the risk that ill-conceived state regulations could kill those jobs and that activity is even greater.”


For more information or to schedule an interview with Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., the author of Regulating the Upstream Industry: Getting the Balance Right, please contact Miriam Cho at (202) 471-4228 ext. 101 or

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

Subscribe to our newsletter:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top