Does A Report On The Shale Boom Give A Glimpse At The Benefits Of Energy Dominance?


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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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The shale oil boom is providing major economic and environmental benefits for locals living in South Texas, a report released Monday indicates.

South Texas is home to the Eagle Ford Shale region. Recent analysis from Texans for Natural Gas showcases how fossil fuel development in the Eagle Ford Shale — a sedimentary rock formation that is rich in oil and gas — is delivering huge gains to the local economy. Among the report’s highlights for the 2016 year are: over $1.3 billion in generated revenue from oil and gas, nearly $23.1 billion in gross regional product and $49.8 billion in total economic output, and local ratepayers enjoy 11 percent less than the national average on their electricity bill.

“In recent years, Texas has emerged as a major player in the global energy market, improving our balance of trade and making us more secure as a country. But the Eagle Ford Shale provides a great story of how the Texas shale boom is actually improving lives at the local level,” Steve Everley, a spokesperson for Texans for Natural Gas, said in a statement. “Thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale, residents in San Antonio are enjoying lower monthly energy bills and cleaner air.” (RELATED: Trump Says Conserving Oil No Longer A Concern As US Becomes Energy Dominant)

Development in the region has also been a boon for the local education system. School districts within the 15 core counties of the Eagle Ford Shale region took in hundreds of million in revenue from oil and gas property taxes.

“In 2017 alone, school districts throughout the Eagle Ford region received more than $286 million in funding from oil and gas property tax revenue. These are real benefits, accruing to real men and women who work in San Antonio and throughout South Texas,” Everley continued.

Hydraulic fracturing in the region has also led to environmental gains. The city of San Antonio, according to the report, reduced its ozone levels by 20 percent since 2003. The production of natural gas — a prevalent resource in the area — emits much less carbon emissions than coal.

The Texans for Natural Gas report also indicates a turnaround. Eagle Ford Shale, which experienced an unprecedented boom in development from 2010 to 2014, saw output drop dramatically by 2015. However, the rig count in the region is slowly ticking up again, with 94 rigs operating in June.

Eagle Ford Shale is the second biggest oil-producing region in the county and the fourth biggest natural gas-producing region in the country. Like other parts of the U.S., the advent of hydraulic fracturing technology has successfully unlocked a large amount of previously unobtainable fossil fuel resources.

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