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Benefactors of oil and gas boom extend far beyond the fields

Over the past year, the state of Colorado has been in the spotlight for its implementation of some controversial legislation. The statewide legalization of recreational use of marijuana has shed both a positive and a negative light from supporters and non-supporters across the United States. Lost in the weeds, if you will, is the exponential energy boom that has seen the state of Colorado alone bring in $126.5 billion in output from 2008-2012, according to an article by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.

A new report conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and commissioned by the API examined the economic impact the energy boom has on the state.

The state of Colorado is made up of 64 counties, 38 of which have a high concentration of oil and gas production. Five counties make up 88 percent of oil and gas production in Colorado: Weld, Garfield, La Plata, Rio Blanco, and Montezuma. According to the report, in 2011 Colorado ranked tenth in the nation in oil and gas industry-related jobs with 213,100. That number accounted for 6.7 percent of the state total. As far as economic value added, the oil and gas industry in Colorado contributed over $25.8 billion to the state’s economy, or, 9.1 percent of the entire state total.


In 2012, property tax revenue in Colorado exceeded $372 million dollars, with Weld County accounting for $201.2 million alone. Weld County is in the northeast part of the state in the heart of the Niobrara, a booming shale play that extends into parts of Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska. Beneficiaries of the increasing tax revenue include public schools, roads, parks and healthcare.

Related: Weld County tax base grows as oil and gas keeps booming

According to the report, in 2012 public safety was the highest beneficiary of oil and gas revenue, receiving nearly 40 million dollars. Other beneficiaries included general government, health and human services, public works, along with streets and highways. Those four combined for over $80 million in expendable revenue from oil and gas profit.

Revenues from oil and gas property taxes to school districts in counties that collected such revenue ranged from as high as $94 million for school districts in Weld County to a low of $12,000 for school districts in Sedgwick County.

According to the report, in 2012 the state of Colorado totaled more than $8.8 billion in oil and gas production revenue, with natural gas accounting for 54 percent, oil accounting for 42 percent, and carbon dioxide with four percent. Through direct, indirect, and induced activities, the oil and gas industry was responsible for contributing $23.3 billion to Colorado’s economy in 2012.

To read more from this report click here.

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