Shale revolution saves schools, states $1.9 bn, study says
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new study shows that America’s shale energy revolution is saving billions for local schools districts, as well as state and local taxpayers, said API V.P. for Regulatory and Economic Policy Kyle Isakower.
“The oil and natural gas revolution has created millions of jobs, but that only scratches the surface of the economic benefits we’re seeing at the state and local level,” said Isakower. “U.S. school districts saved over a billion dollars on energy last year, enough to employ over 14,200 teachers. During the same period, state and local taxpayers saved another $720 million on other government spending. For cities and schools still struggling with the ripple effects of a recession, the economic benefits resulting from new advances in U.S. energy production are making a huge difference.”
The study by IHS Global Insight estimated energy savings during the 2012-2013 fiscal year from unconventional oil and natural gas production -- resources generally unlocked from shale deposits and other tight formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
In total, U.S. public elementary and secondary school districts saved approximately 9.3% on electricity and 21.3% on natural gas, for a total of $1.2 billion. State and local governments saved an estimated 9.5% on electricity and 21.6% on natural gas, for a total of $720 million, or the cost to employ about 10,995 government workers.
“America is now the world’s top producer of natural gas, and it’s helped to push down the cost of keeping our students warm and local governments running,” said Isakower. “For taxpayers, these energy savings can mean more funding for education and local services. To protect these benefits and grow the economy, policymakers in Washington must turn aside efforts that would impose duplicative regulations on shale development, slow permitting, or limit access to domestic resources.”
The study also estimated school and government savings for individual states and regions. For example, unconventional oil and natural gas production saved Colorado schools approximately 9.5% on energy last year, or $11.4 million, enough to employ 154 teachers. The state and local governments in Colorado saved an additional 9.6% on other energy costs, or $6.6 million, enough to employ about 99 government workers.