Study: Fossil Fuels Plays Limited Role In West

DENVER (AP) — A new report says the fossil fuels industry’s longest-lasting economic impact is from tax revenues, not jobs, and recommends maximizing those revenues by raising rates.

The report by Headwaters Economics says government data show the industry accounted for less than 3 percent of total employment in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Utah in 2008. The figure was about 8.5 percent in Wyoming.

The study acknowledges seasonal workers might have been missed, along with workers improperly categorized in other industries.

A 2009 trade group study puts the percentages much higher.

As for tax policies, Doug Flanders of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association says stable taxes and “sensible regulation” are needed to attract industry investments.

Headwaters Economics says it’s funded by various donors as well as federal agencies like the Forest Service.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • DinoMo

    I assume that the percentage of total employment lists only those individuals working directly in the industry. It probably does not include electricians, truck drivers, welders, and other trades that support the industry. When the price of crude oil collapsed in the mid-1980s, over 40,000 people associated with the industry lost their jobs in Colorado. How many jobs does the Headwaters Economics group think are okay to lose if tax rates were increased and companies fold or move elsewhere? How much less severance tax should the state accept if the economics of drilling causes a reduction in drilling and production (you need to drill wells to keep production constant). Why not increase taxes on other industries, like the television industry for example, since overall they don’t provide a large percentage of jobs, either? This looks to be a silly report that aims to destroy an industry in Colorado that employs thousands of people and produces cheap, efficient, and easily transportable energy and manufacturing products.

  • Jim # 44

    Looks like thay are manipilating the figures to favor the ones paying for the study.
    What a joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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