The San-Antonio Express News published an op-ed from former Texas state representatives Harvey Hilderbran and Doug Miller in which they call on the Biden administration to recognize the importance of energy and infrastructure development in the Lone Star State. Hilderbran and Miller raise concern that President-elect Joe Biden’s environmental promises could negatively impact the economy in the state. The authors point to infrastructure projects in the Permian Basin that could yield benefits to offset economic hardship brought on in 2020 and bottlenecks in the region. Data proves how necessary oil and gas projects are to Texas’s economy:
“A recent Texas Tech University study found in 2019, the oil and gas industry provided more than $48 billion in economic output, nearly $3 billion in state and local revenue, and supported more than 238,000 jobs. The expansion of pipeline construction alone in 2019 resulted in nearly 29,000 construction jobs and $5.5 billion in gross economic value from construction projects.”
One project Hilderbran and Miller discussed is from energy infrastructure developer Kinder Morgan. The developer has completed construction on the Permian Highway Pipeline in the Permian Basin, and the project will benefit the state’s economy by creating jobs and revenue for public needs:
“The Permian Highway Pipeline is estimated to provide around 2,500 local construction jobs and 18 full-time jobs. In addition, an estimated $42 million of increased annual revenue will stream to applicable state and local coffers. Schools, first responders and other emergency services will benefit from the nearly $1 billion in oil and gas production tax revenue that will come from the pipeline.”
This is a critical project for Texas as approximately 3.7 million Texans have filed for unemployment relief since March of this year. The Biden administration must be careful not to instill any policies that would stand in the way of economic progress for Texas and other energy-producing states. In addition to the Permian Highway Pipeline bringing economic support to Texas, an additional pipeline project from Energy Transfer, the Lone Star Express Pipeline, will help support energy production in the Permian Basin:
“Separately, developer Energy Transfer recently announced the completion of the Lone Star Express Pipeline Expansion Project, adding an additional capacity of 400,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids, or NGL, to the existing pipeline system. Projects like the Permian Highway and Lone Star Express are critical to putting Texans back to work, supporting our state’s economy and meeting the energy needs of our nation and its allies.”
2020 has been a difficult market for the oil and gas sector. With new leadership on its way in 2021 and beyond, it is crucial we ensure the years to come will only bring growth and success that can only be ensured with stable energy policies.