The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 12, 2012

Oil industry is strong

NORMAN — An academic study confirms what most Oklahomans take for granted: The oil and natural gas industry had a $61 billion impact on the state in 2011, providing about $1 for every $3 in gross state product.

It’s nearly back to the $68 billion impact the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board estimated in 2007, a year before the recession began.

Those numbers reflect an industry’s major impact. They are also telling numbers for a state that tried for years to wean itself from reliance on oil and gas revenues to fund government activities.

The study done by an Oklahoma City University economist found that 25 cents of every tax dollar spent by Oklahoma state government is provided by the energy industry. About 12 percent of the revenue comes from gross production taxes. Added to that are sales taxes and income taxes on employees.

The study estimated there were nearly 350,000 workers employed in the energy sector.

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