The management of public natural resource wealth

Paul Rose


As improved but often more environmentally-obtrusive technologies such as hydraulic fracturing facilitate the extraction of billions of dollars in natural resource wealth, more states are now faced with a welcome but exceedingly complex set of problems: Who should benefit from natural resources extracted from public lands? If the state retains much of this wealth in the form of tax receipts, how should these funds be spent? What do states owe to the communities from which these resources were extracted? What do states owe to future generations? While these are questions of first impression for a few, fortunate states, a number of states have been trying to address these issues for decades, and have enacted a variety of responses that have crucial implications for the states, their citizens, and their natural environments.

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