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Research & Commentary: Study Highlights the Massive Importance of Oil and Gas Industries to New Mexico’s Economy

August 27, 2021

Industries Provided 10 Percent Of Total State Employment, 11 Percent Of Total Labor Income, 17 Percent Of Total Economic Impact

new report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found the oil and natural gas industries directly or indirectly supported over 114,000 jobs in New Mexico in 2019, or 10.2 percent of the total share of state employment.  Further, the oil and gas industries produced $6.9 billion in labor income, which was 11.6 percent of the state total share, and had a statewide economic impact of $18.8 billion, for 17.9 percent of the state total share.

“As America’s economy comes back, the natural gas and oil industry will serve as the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said in an accompanying press release. “Every state across the country – both blue states and red states – rely on American energy to fuel each sector of the economy and support millions of U.S. jobs. This study reinforces that America’s economic outlook is brighter when we are leading the world in energy production, and it serves as a reminder of what’s at stake if policymakers restrict access to affordable, reliable energy and make us more dependent on foreign sources.”

The importance of the oil and gas industries to the New Mexico economy is crystal clear, yet that doesn’t stop environmental activists and state policymakers from looking for ways to curtail the activities of the industries in the Land of enchantment, or to go even further and eliminate their presence altogether. This would be disastrous for New Mexicans.

2019 study from the Global Energy Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce details how a ban on hydraulic fracturing (colloquially known as “fracking”) would have devastating consequences for the New Mexico economy. According to the study, if a fracking ban took place, New Mexico would experience the cumulative loss of 142,000 jobs across the state by 2025, or 15.8 percent of the state’s total workforce. “To put this potential loss in perspective,” the report notes, “more jobs supported by the oil and natural gas industry would be lost in the first year of a hydraulic fracturing ban than the total number of jobs that all New Mexico industries created in the last year.”

Beyond the destruction of so many jobs, the ban would result in a $26 billion loss in household income, at the tune of $10,723 per household by 2025. Further, $86 billion in cumulative state gross domestic product would be lost, as well as $8 billion in state and local tax revenues.

“If a hydraulic fracturing ban were enacted,” the report concludes, “27,000 jobs would be lost, $7 billion in economic activity would be eliminated, household income would drop by $2 billion, and $681 million in state and local tax revenues would be lost in New Mexico—in the first year alone.”

2020 report from API, with modeling data provided by the consulting firm OnLocation, has unemployment numbers in New Mexico due to a fracking ban that mirror GEI’s study, with 149,000 jobs lost in 2022 alone.

The development of shale reserves in New Mexico has turned the state into the eighth-largest producer of natural gas in the United States, as well as the second-largest producer of crude oil. This massive increase in domestic shale development, led by fracking, has caused natural gas prices to plummet in New Mexico, saving state residents and businesses more than $3.4 billion between 2006 and 2016, according to a 2018 study from the Consumer Energy Alliance.

The oil and natural gas deposits found in New Mexico are abundant, inexpensive, environmentally safe, and can ensure the United States is the world’s largest energy producer well beyond the 21st century. Therefore, New Mexico policymakers should refrain from placing unnecessary burdens on the natural gas and oil industries, which are safe and positively impact the state economy.

The following documents provide more information about fossil fuels.

The Economic Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing to New Mexico – and the Consequences of a Potential Ban
https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/2019-12/the_economic_benefits_of_hydraulic_fracturing_to_new_mexico.pdf
This report from the Global Energy Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes how historic levels of oil and natural gas production in New Mexico – made possible by advancements and improvements in hydraulic fracturing technology – have resulted in new job creation, economic growth, and increases in personal income that are leading the nation. It highlights both the benefits of the shale energy revolution and the real-world impacts that a ban would have on New Mexico.

Energy for New Mexico
https://consumerenergyalliance.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/CEA-NM-Report-FINAL.pdf
This report from the Consumer Energy Alliance examined how the shale revolution across New Mexico has provided benefits to residents of the Land of Enchantment by boosting disposable income, revitalizing communities, and saving residential users $1.6 billion and commercial and industrial users $1.86 billion from 2006 to 2016.

Impacts of the Natural Gas and Oil Industry on the U.S. Economy in 2019
https://www.api.org/-/media/Files/Policy/American-Energy/PwC/API-PWC-Economic-Impact-Report.pdf
This study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, shows that the natural gas and oil industry supported 11.3 million U.S. jobs in 2019, produced $892 billion in labor income, and had a nationwide economic impact of nearly $1.7 trillion The study also shows the natural gas and oil industry has had widespread impacts in each of the 50 states.

America’s Progress at Risk: An Economic Analysis of a Ban on Fracking and Federal Leasing for Natural Gas and Oil Development
https://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Oil-and-Natural-Gas/Hydraulic-Fracturing/2020/fracking-ban-study-americas-progress-at-risk.pdf
The study from the American Petroleum Institute (conducted by economic modeling firm OnLocation)  warns that banning federal leasing and fracking on public and private lands, which some presidential candidates have proposed, would cost up to 7.5 million American jobs in 2022 alone, lead to a cumulative GDP loss of $7.1 trillion by 2030, slash household incomes by $5,400 annually, increase household energy costs by more than $600 per year and reduce farm incomes by 43 percent due to higher energy costs. If a ban is enacted, the U.S. would flip from being a net exporter of oil and petroleum products to importing more than 40 percent of supplies by 2030.

What If…Hydraulic Fracturing Were Banned? (2020 Edition)
https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/2019-12/hf_ban_report_final.pdf
This study from the Global Energy Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says a ban on fracking in the United States would be catastrophic for our economy. Their analysis shows that if such a ban were imposed in 2021, by 2025 it would eliminate 19 million jobs and reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $7.1 trillion. Tax revenue at the local, state, and federal levels would decline by nearly a combined $1.9 trillion. Natural gas prices would leap by 324 percent, causing household energy bills to more than quadruple. By 2025, motorists would pay twice as much at the pump for gasoline as oil prices spike to $130 per barrel, while less domestic energy production would also mean less energy security.

The Value of U.S. Energy Innovation and Policies Supporting the Shale Revolution
https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Value-of-U.S.-Energy-Innovation-and-Policies-Supporting-the-Shale-Revolution.pdf
This report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimates that increased oil and natural gas production due to the fracking revolution is saving American families a combined $203 billion annually, or around $2,500 per family. On top of this, the fracking revolution is benefitting the environment, lowering energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 527 million metric tons between 2005 and 2017.

Natural Gas Savings to End-users: 2008-2018 A Technical Briefing Paper
https://onetrillionsaved.org/assets/files/092919_Kleinhenz__Associates_Natural_Gas_Savings_to_End_Users_2008-2018.pdf
This report prepared by Kleinhenz & Associates for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program shows increased oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing saves American families $203 billion annually on gasoline and electricity bills. This breaks down to $2,500 in savings per family per year.

Debunking Four Persistent Myths about Hydraulic Fracturing
https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/debunking-four-persistent-myths-about-hydraulic-fracturing
This Heartland Institute Policy Brief by Policy Analyst Timothy Benson and former Heartland communications intern Linnea Lueken outlines the basic elements of the fracking process and then refutes the four most widespread fracking myths, providing lawmakers and the public with the research and data they need to make informed decisions about hydraulic fracturing.

The Local Economic and Welfare Consequences of Hydraulic Fracturing
https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/the-local-economic-and-welfare-consequences-of-hydraulic-fracturing
This comprehensive study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research says fracking brings, on average, $1,300 to $1,900 in annual benefits to local households, including a 7 percent increase in average income, a 10 percent increase in employment, and a 6 percent increase in housing prices.

Local Fiscal Effects of a Drilling Downturn: Local Government Impacts of Decreased Oil and Gas Activity in Five U.S. Shale Regions
http://www.rff.org/files/document/file/RFF%20Rpt-SPF.pdf
This study from Resources for the Future finds 82 percent of communities in the five largest shale regions in the United States experienced a net fiscal benefit from hydraulic fracturing despite a large drop in oil and natural gas commodity prices starting in 2014.

The U.S. Leads the World in Clean Air: The Case for Environmental Optimism
https://files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2018/11/27165514/2018-11-RR-US-Leads-the-World-in-Clean-Air-ACEE-White.pdf
This paper from the Texas Public Policy Foundation examines how the United States achieved robust economic growth while dramatically reducing emissions of air pollutants. The paper states that these achievements should be celebrated as a public policy success story, but instead the prevailing narrative among political and environmental leaders is one of environmental decline that can only be reversed with a more stringent regulatory approach. Instead, the paper urges for the data to be considered and applied to the narrative.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels – Summary for Policymakers
https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-fossil-fuels---summary-for-policymakers
In this fifth volume of the Climate Change Reconsidered series, 117 scientists, economists, and other experts assess the costs and benefits of the use of fossil fuels by reviewing scientific and economic literature on organic chemistry, climate science, public health, economic history, human security, and theoretical studies based on integrated assessment models (IAMs) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

The Social Benefits of Fossil Fuels
https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/the-social-benefits-of-fossil-fuels
This Heartland Policy Brief by Joseph Bast and Peter Ferrara documents the many benefits from the historic and still ongoing use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are lifting billions of people out of poverty, reducing all the negative effects of poverty on human health, and vastly improving human well-being and safety by powering labor-saving and life-protecting technologies, such as air conditioning, modern medicine, and cars and trucks. They are dramatically increasing the quantity of food humans produce and improving the reliability of the food supply, directly benefiting human health. Further, fossil fuel emissions are possibly contributing to a “Greening of the Earth,” benefiting all the plants and wildlife on the planet.

 

Nothing in this Research & Commentary is intended to influence the passage of legislation, and it does not necessarily represent the views of The Heartland Institute. For further information on this subject, visit Environment & Climate News, The Heartland Institute’s website, and PolicyBot, Heartland’s free online research database.

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