• Robert E. Forbis Jr.


Changes in federal domestic energy policy resulted in increased split-estate energy development. Documented from primary government documents and journalistic sources across three settings, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming, where the vast majority of split-estate energy development and conflict between ranching and energy development interests occurred, analysis of the data shows that the expansion of split-estate energy development raised the level of frustration with the BLM among ranchers. Their frustration is documented as a spiraling conflict via accounts of ranchers petitioning their state legislatures for protection from energy development as well as the Congressional record of the debate that ensued because of that conflict. Overall, as ranching interests turned to federal and state legislatures for protection, they found that elected officials now favored the interests of energy development and that the existing legal and regulatory frameworks also favored energy development. As a result, the formerly allied interests of ranching and energy developers began to compete for the attention and favor of elected officials as each sought control of the BLM’s land-use subgovernment.


Congress Bureau of Land Management Federal regulation State legislature Surface Owner Protection Act Split-estate energy development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Forbis Jr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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