Study: Shale Bonanza Benefits Schools, State And Local Governments

  • Date: 07/06/14
  • Mark Green, Energy Tomorrow

A new study details the way America’s unconventional energy revolution is benefiting Americans where they live.

The new analysis by IHS shows that electricity and natural gas cost savings from shale energy is, in turn, saving billions of dollars for the nation’s school districts and state and local governments. Key points in the state-by-state study:

  • U.S. public elementary and secondary schools saved $1.2 billion during the 2012-2013 fiscal year from a 9.3 percent reduction in electricity costs and a 21.3 percent reduction in natural gas costs – both linked to shale energy. That’s enough to employ more than 14,200 teachers.
  • State and local governments realized $720 million in energy cost savings due to shale energy – enough to employ nearly 11,000 government workers.

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Kyle Isakower, API vice president for regulatory and economic policy, discussed the study during a conference call with reporters:

“Today’s report shows that 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. Higher energy production has helped to push down the cost of keeping our students warm and local governments running. And it has given local taxpayers the freedom to set aside more funding for education and local services, like housing and safety.”

Last year, a related report by IHS estimated that the full value chain from unconventional energy supported more than 2 million jobs in 2012 and is projected to support nearly 4 million by 2025. For the average U.S. household, the increase in disposable income resulting from new production totaled $1,200 in 2012 and is expected to grow to $3,500 in 2025.

IHS also estimated savings for individual states and regions. In Colorado, for example, the state’s schools saved about 9.5 percent on energy last year or about $11 million. Colorado taxpayers saved another $6.6 million in lower energy costs for other state and local government functions.

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