Report: Oil & gas drilling on federal lands pays dividends

07 10, 2012 by Fuel Fix

Energy development on federal lands and waters supported about 1.5 million jobs and $275 billion in economic activity last year, according to a new Interior Department report.

The analysis calculates the economic benefits of Interior Department activities, ranging from the national parks it manages to oil extraction on the public lands it oversees.

Not surprisingly, energy development produces big dividends, according to the report.

That’s especially true onshore in western states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, where oil and gas producers are extracting the fossil fuels from Bureau of Land Management leases.

According to the report, oil and gas activity on BLM-managed lands in New Mexico was linked to 47,807 direct jobs and $10.9 billion in direct output. In Wyoming and Utah, respectively, the work was tied to 58,000 and 22,000 direct jobs and $17.9 billion and $6.6 billion in direct output.

Offshore energy development, including new offshore wind activities as well as long-established oil and gas work, supported 734,500 jobs and $121 billion in economic output, mostly in Gulf Coast states, according to the report. For instance, offshore drilling on federal parts of the outer continental shelf was linked to 157,500 jobs and $29 billion in economic activity in Texas. In Louisiana, the work supported 107,400 jobs and $16 billion in economic activity.

But it wasn’t just coastal states.

As industry backers widely note, the supply chain for offshore drilling extends throughout the United States, so even non-coastal states saw a piece of the action, according to the Interior Department Report. For instance, the analysis said offshore mineral extraction on federal waters supported 19,900 jobs in land-locked Pennsylvania and another 16,200 in Ohio.

Some oil and gas industry allies have lobbied for swifter permitting of energy development on federal lands.