Oil and Gas Development Delivers Billions to Colorado’s Economy

A new economic report shows that oil and gas development contributed billions to Colorado’s economy in 2014 generating benefits that researchers conclude “impact every citizen in the state.”

Prepared by the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder, for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), the report details how oil and gas development contributed $31.7 billion in total economic impact to Colorado’s economy in 2014, along with “supporting 102,700 jobs and $7.6 billion in compensation.” From the report:

“The oil and gas industry, along with nearly all extraction industries, inherently provides substantial economic benefits due to its integrated supply chain, high wage jobs, and propensity to sell nationally and globally. Much of Colorado’s oil and gas is sold outside of the state, contributing wealth to owners, employees, governments, and schools, all of which are beneficiaries of oil and gas revenues.” emphasis added

Researchers found that Colorado’s schools were among the largest beneficiaries of oil and gas development in 2014 with their analysis showing that the royalties generated from production on state lands contributed more than $178 million to schools. As the report details:

“The largest beneficiaries of State Land Board Trust distributions in fiscal year 2014-15 included schools ($178 million), Colorado State University ($1 million), and State Parks and Wildlife ($0.5 million)”

But schools and parks are not the only beneficiaries of the economic activity generated by oil and gas development. As the report summarizes, revenue from taxes, payroll, investment and other sources connected to the oil and gas industry are having an impact on Coloradans across the state. The report states:

“The capital investments and industry production create jobs, income, wealth, and taxes, notably concentrated where production exists; however, as tax dollars flow into the state general fund and cash fund, the outflow of these dollars impacts every citizen in the state through investments in education, transportation, and others.” (emphasis added)

Dan Haley, COGA President and CEO highlighted the importance of energy development to Colorado’s economy in the press release announcing the study:

“The industry’s overall tax bill represents approximately $600 of tax revenue per household in the state, and this does not include the industry’s corporate tax bill. Every Coloradan is positively impacted by this industry, no matter where you live.”

Even as this latest report highlights the incredible benefits of shale development, a group of national activist organizations are pursuing ballot initiatives to ban fracking in the state.   The findings help explain why Colorado’s business community is speaking out against the proposals. The state’s job creators oppose these measures because they know the “ban fracking” agenda isn’t just anti-energy – it’s anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-growth.

But perhaps more importantly, the report’s findings underscore, yet again, how the fringe ideology peddled by ban fracking activist organizations threatens working familieshurts the state economy, and ultimately has no place in Colorado.

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