Bringing It Home

The economic statistics related to the American shale revolution are so staggering that the full impact can be lost in the steady stream of facts and figures released by government agencies and private research organizations. 

For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration this week released a report finding that "Texas added more than 19,000 new private sector jobs in oil and natural gas production in 2013, almost six times the number added in New Mexico, the next highest state for oil and natural gas production jobs added last year." These figures only include "on-the-ground production jobs, and do not reflect the many jobs at oil and natural gas corporate headquarters based in Texas."

Positions in shale energy are expected to grow steadily in the coming decades. A study by research group IHS found that the shale gas "industry is expected to support more than 1.6 million jobs by 2035." According to the American Natural Gas Alliance, "shale gas will add more than $231 billion to the national GDP and contribute more than $57 billion in taxes" to the American economy by that time as well.

Even if you only focus on North Texas, the economic impacts of shale energy are mind blowing. Energy production in the Barnett Shale is responsible for "$11.8 billion in gross product per year and more than 107,650 permanent jobs" just in North Texas.

These impressive numbers may make it seem like the shale revolution is only benefitting the economy on a macro level. Or perhaps one might think that the benefits of shale energy only go to royalty owners or those who work in the industry.

An interesting infographic from Energy In Depth, brings together some information that demonstrates how widespread and direct the benefits of the shale revolution are throughout the American economy. Most notable of these facts is the estimated benefit for every American household. Energy In Depth cites an IHS study that found that “oil and gas activity and related chemical manufacturing added $1,200 to real disposable income per U.S. household in 2012.”

Also, shale energy is proving relief to those who are struggling in our country. Energy In Depth quotes John Wells of Action for Boston Community Development on the impact of affordable energy in his community. Wells explains that “about six years ago, when natural-gas prices were high, it was a real crisis. Low natural-gas prices have been a godsend to low-income families.”

The shale revolution is helping all American families live more prosperous, productive, and comfortable lives.

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