Even Accounting for Environmental Costs, Oil and Gas Development To Have Net Positive Impact on California Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento, California, April 1, 2014
Contact: press@calpolicycenter.org, 916-258-2396

Expansion Could Generate Nearly 300,000 New Jobs Per Year Through 2035,
Between $1 and $4.5 Billion in Annual Tax Gains

Today, the California Policy Center (CPC) released a new study from a University of Wyoming economist analyzing the realistic economic and environmental impacts that offshore oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing could have in California. In his report, Dr. Tim Considine used conservative estimates of the benefits and erred on the high side for environmental costs, and determined that the benefits significantly outweigh the costs.

The benefits include an average annual employment increase of between 67,000 and 299,000 during development, average annual gains in state and local taxes ranging from $1 billion to $4.5 billion per year, and a net economic benefit of roughly $30 billion per year – again using conservative, mid-range estimates of the benefits, and net of the cost of environmental damages.

You can view the full report here: “The Benefits and Costs of Oil and Gas Development in California

The new study concludes that the “net economic benefits defined as value added less the expected environmental impact costs are between $7 and $30 billion per year.” The report assesses that “Directional drilling offers the possibility of safely accessing a significant portion of the estimated 10 billion barrels of offshore oil and gas from land-based drilling rigs. Another opportunity is to develop the Monterey shale in the Central Valley region, which may hold up to 15 billion barrels of crude oil. At current market prices, these assets are worth $2.5 trillion, which, if monetized, could generate hundreds of billions in tax and royalty revenues to fund pensions, education, health, and other government programs.”

This month, state and city officials continue to discuss enacting new regulations that would prevent such expansion, while Los Angeles and Carson City have already began to impose such moratoriums, according to the Los Angeles Times. But Dr. Considine’s report, which takes into account environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, the expected value of oil spill costs, and the costs associated with other environmental events, finds that the benefits of oil and gas expansion far outweigh the costs for California.

“At a time when California’s state and local governments are struggling with budget shortfalls and high rates of unemlpoyment, now is the time to safely capitalize on developing the valuable oil and gas resources available in the Golden State,” said CPC Executive Director Ed Ring. “Dr. Considine’s comprehensive research shows that even using conservative estimates, the benefits of oil development in California significantly outweigh the costs.”

To schedule an interview, contact Carson Putnam at (916) 258-2396 or Carson@CalPolicyCenter.org.

The California Policy Center is a non-partisan public policy think tank that aspires to provide information that will elevate and enlighten the public dialogue on vital issues facing Californians, with the goal of helping to foster constructive progress towards more equitable and sustainable management of California’s public institutions. Learn more at www.CaliforniaPolicyCenter.org.