A new study by Consumer Energy Alliance maintains record production of natural gas helped Colorado residents save more than $12 billion between 2006 and 2016. It also showed how oil and gas contributed more than $31 billion to the state’s economy.
The report is called “The Importance of Affordable and Abundant Oil and Natural Gas for Colorado.” It showed each resident in Colorado spent on average $2.681 for energy needs in 2016. For those living at or below the poverty line, it translated to at least 22 percent of their income going toward energy expenses. The report stated 10 percent of the State’s residents or more than 564,000 men, women and children live in poverty.
While some residents of the state as well as environmentalists are fighting increased oil and gas drilling efforts, the industry is contributing to the state’s economy.
CEA’s analysis also found that the state’s oil and gas industries support 232,900 workers, contribute over $31.4 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for nearly 10 percent of gross state product, supporting jobs in 50 the state’s 64 counties.
Moreover, producers contributed nearly $1.2 billion to state budgets via property, income and severance taxes in addition to public land leases and royalties – all of which helps funds municipal services including school, road maintenance and safety.
The State Land Board, for instance, has distributed $1.4 billion in revenue from energy development to build and support public schools over the last 10 years.
But should voters approve a proposed initiative, Ballot Proposition 112, next month, the following could unfold:
- 54 percent of the state’s entire land surface would be made off-limits to oil and gas production, decreasing property and severance tax revenue and income from land leases and royalties
- Local tax revenues statewide would be reduced during the first year, from $459 million to $258 million – a 56 percent cut. Lost revenues could reach $1 billion by 2030.
- School funding would be reduced by 60 percent, with $230.3 million eliminated over a three-year period, according to a State Land Board estimation.
- Farmers who lease land to energy companies would lose a significant portion of their income, hurting the state’s agricultural sector
- Households would see their energy costs increase. On average, each Colorado resident spent $2,681 on energy needs in 2016. For the approximately 564,000 residents in poverty – that’s more than 10 percent of the state’s population – that translates to at least 22 percent of their income.
- States gasoline prices have sustained a 4.7 percent increase as access to local energy resources has been challenged; on-highway diesel has seen a 1.7 percent bump.
“Colorado has fast become one of America’s leaders in safe, economical oil and natural gas production, rejuvenating communities statewide and helping families and businesses of all sizes reduce expenses, growth and prosper via abundant sources of locally-made, affordable energy,” CEA Executive Vice President Andrew Browning, in Denver, said.
“Yet anti-development activists, funded by organizations from out of state, are threatening our way of life by trying to eliminate the production and transportation of these safe, affordable resources despite Colorado having the strongest air and water regulatory framework for oil and gas production in the nation. Their efforts threaten the environment and offer no realistic solutions to how we meet growing consumer demand, fund much-need municipal services and reduce costs for those who need it most – all key points voters must keep in mind when they cast their ballots in the coming weeks.”