The Federal Lands Freedom Act: Empowering States to Control Their Own Energy Futures
The United States is now the world’s leader in both natural gas and oil production. While federally owned lands are also full of energy potential, a bureaucratic regulatory regime has mismanaged land use for decades. The tremendous economic benefits of open energy markets and the proven track record of the individual states’ regulatory structures dictate a re-examination of the way the federal government manages resources on federal lands. The Federal Lands Freedom Act gives states the authority to administer leasing, permitting, and regulatory programs for development of all energy resources on federal lands. States are already well positioned to help make a transition to better management of these resources. While Congress should pursue opportunities to reduce the size of the federal estate, the Federal Lands Freedom Act is a significant step toward better management of America’s lands and natural resources.