920 Allowances:Empower States to Control Energy Production on Federal Lands

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


No specific savings are assumed for this proposal.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Open access to energy exploration and development on non-park, non-wilderness lands, and remove bans on drilling off America’s territorial waters.


Expand American energy by empowering states to access resources.

Much of the growth is occurring on private and state-owned lands, while oil and gas output on federal lands has been in decline. States are in the best position to promote economic growth and to protect the environment, which is why state regulators should manage energy production and resources in their respective states. The federal government owns nearly one-third of United States territory. Congress should consider privatizing some of that land, and in the meantime, transferring the management of federal lands to state regulators would encourage energy resource development on the federal estate while maintaining a strong environmental record.

States should be able to control the environmental review and permitting process to develop energy resources on federal land that is not Indian land, part of the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge System, or a congressionally designated area. The proposed Federal Land Freedom Act ((H.R. 2511—Federal Land Freedom Act of 2013.)) would allow states to develop programs that satisfy all applicable federal laws required to produce energy on federal lands. Therefore, states would have complete control of their energy programs. Further, states would submit a declaration of their program to the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and the Interior, and the program would not be subject to judicial review. Doing so would reduce the budgets for those federal agencies conducting the environmental review and permitting.

Expand American energy by empowering states to access resources.

Contributing Expert

Nicolas (Nick) Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Nicolas Loris

Nicolas (Nick) LorisHerbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Heritage Expert

Katie Tubb is a Research Associate and Coordinator in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

See publications by Katie Tubb

Katie TubbResearch Associate and Coordinator

Additional Reading