The oil and natural gas industry plays a pivotal role in bringing substantial economic benefits to Colorado, according to a recent economic study released by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA).
The study, Assessment of Oil & Gas Industry 2012: Industry Economic & Fiscal Contributions in Colorado, conducted by University of Colorado Boulder researchers Brian Lewandowski and Richard Wobbekind, found that in 2012 the oil and gas industry pumped $29.6 billion into the Colorado economy and supported over 110,000 high-paying jobs.
“Collectively, the oil and gas industry contributed nearly $3.8 billion in employee income to Colorado households in 2012, or 2.8% of total Colorado salary and wages,” the report stated.
The study also found that the oil and gas industry is a key source of Colorado’s fiscal revenues, contributing nearly $1.6 billion in tax revenues to state and local governments, schools districts, and special districts. “Governments across Colorado depend on the oil and gas industry to pay for much-need public services,” said Doug Flanders, COGA director of policy and external affairs.
As oil and gas extraction technology advances in efficiency, permits dropped more than 37% between 2010 and 2012 while oil and gas production increased during the same time period, according to the study.
Concerning the current debate on environmental and societal impacts of oil and gas development in Colorado, the study stated that the economic contributions of the industry should be present in the discussion calling for drilling moratoriums.
The data used by the study is publicly available statewide data concerning employment, wages, property values, royalties, leases, severance taxes, rig and well counts, as well as production and prices.
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