In communities across the county, the energy industry serves as a powerful economic engine, generating a number of key impacts – from the creation of jobs to investment and tax revenues. A new report released by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas titled “Environmental and Community Impacts of Shale Development in Texas” underscores this fact. The study, conducted by experts in oil and gas, engineering, transportation, medicine, economics and law, analyzes existing research to illustrate the impacts of oil and gas development in the state of Texas across a range of economic, environmental, and societal considerations.
As a Dallas Morning News article on the study relates, “The exploration of shale fields — thanks to fracking, other technology and the increasingly important Permian Basin — has contributed to a 50 percent decrease in gasoline prices, provided local governments with billions of dollars and is responsible for nearly 3.8 million Texas jobs.”
The report goes on to detail findings from economic studies that demonstrate a tremendous amount of economic activity created by the oil and gas industry in Texas:
The oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin provides substantial economic benefits to Texas and New Mexico. Economic estimates for 2013 revealed that the Permian Basin’s oil and gas industry sustained over 546,000 jobs, generated $137.8 billion in economic output, and contributed more than $71.1 billion to the gross state products of Texas and New Mexico (Ewing et al., 2014). The Texas portion of the Permian Basin-related oil and gas activity sustained over 444,000 jobs, generated $113.6 billion in economic output, and contributed over $60.2 billion to the state of Texas.
According to The Perryman Group 2014 report, projected economic benefits of Barnett Shale-related activities for the region between 2014 and 2023 will include $141.5 billion in gross product and 1,268,161 person-years of employment, while tax benefits for local governments and the state will include $5.7 billion and $7.4 billion, respectively (ibid.). During that same time period, the contribution of these activities to the Texas economy is projected to be about $153.4 billion in gross product, 1,354,727 person-years of employment, and tax receipts of $6.1 billion to local governments and $8 billion to the state.
Further, the report analyzes the effects of the energy industry on schools in the state, finding that the sector has contributed billions of dollars in funding to the state’s education:
- oil and natural gas production generated over $1.5 billion in property tax revenue for Texas schools in FY2014;
- the Permanent School Fund—a state education endowment supporting K-12 public schools—received $676 million in FY2014 from oil and natural gas revenues;
- 595 independent school districts generated property tax revenues from mineral-producing properties; roughly 230 independent school districts are located in areas where oil and natural gas producing properties generated at least $1 million in property tax revenue in FY2014; and
- the Permanent University Fund—an endowment supporting the University of Texas and the Texas A&M University systems through oil and gas royalties on certain state-owned lands—was at the time valued at $21.8 billion.
Clearly, the oil and gas industry – a pillar of the economy in Texas – has done an enormous amount of good for the state and its residents. And the same positive impacts are being witnessed in communities across the U.S., thanks to the responsible development of domestic energy resources as well as their transportation with projects like the Rover Pipeline.
Read the full report here.