API published a 249-page report on oil and natural gas development in 16 counties, mostly across the western United States. The industrial lobby group said the energy sector can exist alongside economic drivers like hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.
"This study shows that oil and natural gas development can stimulate economic growth in areas that also support outdoor recreation," API Vice President for Regulatory and Economic Policy Kyle Isakower said in a statement.
The report from Liberty Source said the oil and natural gas sector provides higher-paying jobs while recreation provides jobs for more people. It said county leaders tend to pursue both when possible but may be forced to place emphasis on one sector over the other because of constraints beyond its control.
"A county possesses only limited authority with respect to development issues; many dimensions of development lie outside of the county domain at the state or national levels," the report said.
The study focused on Colorado, California, North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah. Pennsylvania was included in the study. All of the states are rich oil and natural gas reserves, with North Dakota and California ranking Nos. 2 and 3 in terms of oil production, respectively. Texas is the No. 1 oil producing state in the nation.