Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Bowman Cutter

Rights Information

2023 Daniela Altamirano-Iniestra


In this thesis, I explore the relationship between fossil fuel industry specialization and county-level economic outcomes. Using regression analysis, I study this relationship in the coal mining industry and the oil and gas extraction industry. I concentrate on four economic indicators: poverty, income, unemployment, and GDP per capita. I find that a higher relative level of coal mining in 2004 is associated with worse performance in 2020-2021 on two economic indicators, while a higher relative level of oil and gas extraction in 2004 is associated with better performance on three economic indicators in 2020-2021. I interpret this in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewable energy transition.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.