Oil Production as a Function of Gas Production
|Factor||Coefficient||Standard Error||Value of T|
|*Significant at .05 level or beyond.|
stands in contrast to most examples of federal-state relations. The case of a departure from the usual land-leasing pattern in Texas in the 1970s provides a "natural experiment." The experience with offshore leasing in Texas has shown a significant departure from the practice of incorporating important local considerations in production policy after the shift to federal policy making. No longer was balanced production of oil and gas as important as it apparently was under state policy.
In a sense the usual practices of production under the leasing of federal lands for oil and gas production provided a case of innovation in federalism that has not been commented upon sufficiently by political scientists and other theorists. This case illustrates that important policy values can be accomplished by the combination of federal and state decision making. These ideas suggest that the practice could be generalized for other policy areas. Using these federal-state relations as a model for other policy areas would call for shifting decision making authority toward state and local governments in fields like social welfare and urban development, and raises questions about the other leasing practices of federal lands. These questions concern the nature of the units that implement policy, the varieties of implementation experience they have, and comparative outcomes across these variables. From the perspective of a model, it is possible to suggest practice improvements through mechanisms that might bring it even closer to an optimum.
In comparison to the usual federal land leasing practices for oil and gas production, normal intergovernmental relations in the United States lead to inefficiencies. Normal practices do not make use of the decision making effi-