Despite its controversial environmental aspects, the oil and gas industry remains a driving force in Texas. While those shouting the disadvantages of the energy industry have some valid points, keep in mind the numerous advantages the industry brings to the Lone Star State.
1. Economic Impact
Perhaps the biggest advantage to the oil and gas industry in Texas is the economic impact it has on state funding. According to the Texas Oil and Gas Association, the industry paid $13.8 billion in taxes and royalties in 2015. What does that funding mean exactly? It means your Texas schools, roads, and emergency services received crucial funds. In 2015, districts received $1.9 billion in funding that would be impossible to make up without one of the most vital industries in Texas.
2. Employment & Job Creation
Overall, the Texas economy fared better during the Recession than did the rest of the country. In October 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10%, while the Texas unemployment rate just topped 8.4%. The thriving oil and gas industry has a lot to do with the resiliency of the Texas economy and its labor force.
“The oil and natural gas industry’s contribution to our overall economy can’t be overstated. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Texans who have a job in oil and natural gas, fracking has led to a revival of manufacturing in our state,” states the TXOGA.
Texas’ oil and gas sector employs nearly 400,000 people, and contributes greatly to the fact that the state leads the nation in job creation. The Texas Comptroller estimates Texas has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession and has added hundreds of thousands of other jobs.
3. Role in Other Industries
It’s a given that the oil and gas industry is crucial for gasoline and other petroleum-based industries. TXOGA states 384.74 million gallons of gasoline were consumed by people just like you every day, with just one 42-gallon barrel of oil producing 19.4 gallons of gasoline.
While it is easy for environmentalists to lecture about driving less and carpooling more, they fail to realize the everyday, useful byproducts of the industry. Without oil, you would not be able to wash your hair or refrigerate your food. Other byproducts include candles, shoes, footballs, cameras, and more.
4. Essential Power Source
Solar and wind energy are great for saving the environment but Green World Investor claims it is difficult for these energy sources to produce power 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
However, oil can produce power for your home all day long, year-round and is highly reliable due to the mature technology that has been developed during the many, many years of production.
5. Decreased Reliability on Other Countries
It’s no secret that oil can play a large role in politics on the international level. According to this article, Texas is the top producing oil and natural gas state in the country. The United States needs Texas to remain competitive on the oil and gas producing front to keep the nation as a preeminent energy power on the world stage.