Changes in domestic energy policy triggered heightened conflict and competition between the formerly allied, strong, and resource-rich members of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) public lands subgovernment: energy and ranching. From the perspective of energy industry representatives, the heightened conflict and competition with ranching resulted from variety of conditions. In the opinion of these industry representatives, expansion of domestic energy development was the result of political willpower, energy market forces, and technological advancements. There are, however, differing opinions regarding the extent to which split-estate energy development triggered conflict and competition between itself and the ranching industry. While there is general consensus among industry representatives that expanding split-estate energy development did impact the stability of the energy-ranching alliance, there is disagreement concerning the extent to which the alliance has been strained. There is also disagreement regarding how or why the conflict with ranchers became as heightened as it did as split-estate energy development expanded across the Rocky Mountain West. Representatives of the energy industry clearly believe that split-estate energy development triggered conflict with their ranching brethren.
KeywordsEnergy lobby Bureau of Land Management Department of Interior Bureaucracy Split-estate energy development Surface Owner Protection Act
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