Attacks on Offshore Energy Threaten Texas Economy

Houston Business Journal-01Houston Business Journal | June 16, 2016 | Stephen Minick

As the state’s leading employer organization, the Texas Association of Business is committed to improving the Texas business climate and making our state’s economy the strongest in the world.

Doing so, however, will require sensible policies and approaches to a variety of issues, including domestic energy development.

As Texans have witnessed firsthand in recent years, thanks to technological advances and access to abundant oil and natural gas resources across the nation, the U.S. energy revolution has generated tremendous benefits for the Lone Star State’s economy, budget, and consumer pocketbooks.

For offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, in particular, in addition to generating nearly 20 percent of the nation’s crude oil supply, the U.S. Interior Department found that in FY 2014 alone such activity sustained 651,000 jobs and over $64 billion in gross domestic product, including 193,000 jobs and over $20 billion in GDP for Texas. With 69 percent of the nation’s remaining oil estimated to lie on federal offshore and onshore lands, continued and expanded access to our offshore resources will be critical to safeguarding the long-term energy and economic security for Texas businesses and citizens alike.

Unfortunately, federal regulatory obstacles have helped to quell industry interest for now in areas like the Alaskan Arctic, a region that is estimated to contain over 23 billion barrels of undiscovered oil. Elsewhere, one study found that beyond adding about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to our energy supply, exploration and development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico could support an additional 62,000 jobs and $5.3 billion in annual GDP for Texas. Unfortunately, a leasing moratorium set to expire in 2022 covers the vast majority of that region.

Read the full op-ed here.

Stephen Minick is vice president in government affairs at the Texas Association of Business.