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New Analysis: Colorado-Made Natural Gas and Oil Drives U.S. Economic Recovery, Strengthens All Industries


202.682.8114 | press@api.org



DENVER, July 20, 2021—The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released a new analysis of the natural gas and oil industry’s vast economic impact on Colorado’s economy and highlighted its importance to the state’s post-pandemic recovery. The study, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and commissioned by API, is based on the latest government data available and shows that Colorado’s natural gas and oil industry supported nearly 340,000 total jobs across the state’s economy in 2019. Colorado ranked among the highest states for the share of total economic contributions by the natural gas and oil industry, generating $46.1 billion toward the state’s gross domestic product—including $34.1 billion added to total labor income.

“For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has been a cornerstone of Colorado’s economy, and this report underscores the crucial role the industry will play as the state works to rebuild from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” API Colorado Executive Director Lynn Granger said. “As more and more Coloradans return to their normal lives, demand for natural gas and oil has come roaring back, nearing its pre-pandemic heights. Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon policymakers at the local, state and federal levels to support the continued safe and responsible development of Colorado’s ample energy resources.”

“Our state has among the most robust regulatory frameworks in the nation, and we are deeply proud to operate in a place that is a global leader in prioritizing public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife,” Granger continued. “For Coloradans and Americans who will inevitably get the energy they need and use every day, we would submit that it is better for our state, the nation and the world that they get it from right here in Colorado.”

“As America’s economy comes back, the natural gas and oil industry will serve as the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity in Colorado,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “Every state across the country – both blue states and red states – rely on American energy to fuel each sector of the economy and support millions of U.S. jobs. This study reinforces that Colorado’s economic outlook is brighter when we are leading the world in energy production, and it serves as a reminder of what’s at stake if policymakers restrict access to affordable, reliable energy and make us more dependent on foreign sources.”

As economic activity, travel patterns and consumption continue to grow during the post-pandemic recovery, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects global oil and liquid fuels consumption to surpass 2019 levels in 2022. The PwC report, commissioned by API, reinforces how the natural gas and oil industry—in Colorado in particular—is critical to economic revitalization and opportunities for job creation. According to the findings, in 2019, the industry directly and indirectly:

  • Supported 340,000 total jobs (69,000 direct and 271,000 indirect) or 8.6 percent of Colorado’s total employment.
  • Generated an additional 3.9 jobs elsewhere in Colorado’s economy for each direct job in the state’s natural gas and oil industry.
  • Provided $34.1 billion in labor income ($17 billion direct and $17.1 billion indirect) to Colorado, 13.4 percent to the state’s total.
  • Contributed $46.1 billion to Colorado’s gross domestic product ($19.2 billion direct and $26.9 billion indirect), 11.7 percent to the state’s total.

In 2019, the U.S. led the world in natural gas and oil production and the benefits of that leadership permeated throughout non-producing and producing states alike. At the national level in 2019, the natural gas and oil industry:

  • Supported more than 11.3 million total jobs (2.5 million direct and 8.8 million indirect) or 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment.
  • Generated an additional 3.5 jobs elsewhere in the U.S. economy for each direct job in the U.S. natural gas and oil industry.
  • Produced $892.7 billion in labor income ($318.6 billion direct, $574.1 billion indirect), or 6.8 percent of the U.S. national labor income.
  • Supported nearly $1.7 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product ($763.3 billion direct, $925.3 billion indirect), accounting for 7.9 percent of the national total.

Click here for more information on the economic impact analysis.

Click here for a copy of the report.