Research & Commentary: Study Highlights the Supreme Importance of Oil and Natural Gas to the Oklahoma Economy
Industries Provided 17 Percent Of State Employment, 25 Percent Of Labor Income, 29 Percent Of Economic Impact
A 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 389,000 jobs in Oklahoma in 2019, or 16.7 percent of the total share of state employment, the highest in the country. Further, the oil and gas industries produced over $32 billion in labor income, which was 25.3 percent of the state total share, the second-highest percentage in the country, and had a statewide economic impact of over $57 billion, for 28.5 percent of the state total share and again, the second-highest percentage in the United States.
“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 Oklahoma economy is crystal clear, yet that doesn’t stop environmental activists and some state policymakers from looking for ways to curtail the activities of these industries in the Sooner State, or to go even further and eliminate their presence altogether, such as by banning the practice of hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as “fracking.” This would be disastrous for Oklahomans.
A 2020 report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), with modeling data provided by the consulting firm OnLocation, has unemployment numbers in Oklahoma due to a fracking ban at 319,000 jobs lost in 2022 alone. Oklahoma would see more job losses as a percentage of the population than any state besides North Dakota.
Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer of natural gas and the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in the United States. This massive increase in domestic shale development, led by fracking, has caused natural gas prices to plummet in Oklahoma, saving state residents and businesses more than $18.6 billion in the decade between 2008 and 2018, according to a 2020 study from the Consumer Energy Alliance.
The oil and natural gas deposits found in Oklahoma are abundant, inexpensive, environmentally safe, and can ensure the United States is the world’s largest energy producer well beyond the 21st century. Therefore, Oklahoma 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 on hydraulic fracturing and fossil fuels.
Impacts of the Natural Gas and Oil Industry on the U.S. Economy in 2019
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.
What If…Hydraulic Fracturing Were Banned? (2020 Edition)
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.
Oil and Natural Gas Energize Oklahoma
This 2020 report from the Consumer Energy Alliance finds that thanks to increased production, expanded pipeline infrastructure and greater use of natural gas, Oklahoma families and businesses saved more than $18.6 billion between 2008 and 2018. Households saved over $1.8 billion and commercial and industrial users saved more than $16.7 billion.
America’s Progress at Risk: An Economic Analysis of a Ban on Fracking and Federal Leasing for Natural Gas and Oil Development
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.
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
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.
The U.S. Leads the World in Clean Air: The Case for Environmental Optimism
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
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
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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