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New Analysis: Colorado’s Abundant Natural Gas and Oil Resources Provide Over $48 Billion in Economic, Trade & Job Benefits

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DENVER, CO, May 16, 2023 — The American Petroleum Institute-Colorado (API-Colorado) today released new analysis on the growing economic contributions of America’s natural gas and oil industry in all 50 states, including investment in Colorado ranging from taxes and workforce wages paid to indirect and induced jobs in retail, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors throughout the energy supply chain. The study, commissioned by API and prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), showed that the industry supported more than 303,000 jobs and contributed over $48 billion toward the state’s economy in 2021.

“The figures in this report are staggering and underscore the critical importance of Colorado’s natural gas and oil industry to the state’s broader economic health,” said Kait Schwartz, API Colorado Director. “They are also timely in the wake of a deeply troublesome legislative session during which lawmakers introduced a bill that could have functionally ended new production in the state. Much more than our industry and affordable energy are at stake each time policymakers pursue radical undertakings handcrafted by special interests who’s explicitly stated mission is to end oil and gas production. Coloradans of all political stripes should consider these economic figures in the context of the dangerous political games being played, because this industry remains an irreplaceable bedrock of our state’s economic vibrancy.”

“Natural gas and oil delivers growing economic contributions to America that were nearly equivalent to Canada’s annual GDP last year. From Colorado to Pennsylvania, America’s natural gas and oil workforce is the backbone of communities, supporting nearly 11 million careers throughout the energy supply chain,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “America’s economic outlook is brighter when we are leading the world in energy production and this analysis serves as a reminder that we need policies and regulations that encourage investment and enable development.”

The PwC report is based on the latest government data available at the state, national and congressional district level. The findings highlight the importance of policies that promote energy development, including meaningful action on permitting reform and the issuance of a final five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing.

According to the findings, in 2021, the industry directly and indirectly:

  • Supported 303,730 total jobs (54,420 direct and 249,320 indirect) or 7.7 percent of Colorado’s total employment.
  • Generated an additional 1.2 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 ($15.4 billion direct and $18.7 billion indirect) to Colorado, 12.0 percent of the state’s total.
  • Contributed $48.7 billion to Colorado’s total gross domestic product ($19.8 billion direct and $28.9 billion indirect), 11.2 percent of the state’s total.

In 2021, 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 2021, the natural gas and oil industry:

  • Supported 10.8 million total jobs or 5.4 percent of total U.S. employment.
  • Generated an additional 3.7 jobs elsewhere in the U.S. economy for each direct job in the natural gas and oil industry.
  • Produced $909 billion in labor income, or 6.4 percent of the U.S. national labor income.
  • Supported nearly $1.8 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product, accounting for 7.6 percent of the national total.

Click here for more information on the economic impact analysis and here to view a copy of the report.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports nearly 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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