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Texas energy leader touts strength

More than $9 billion in taxes and revenue came from energy last year, commission says.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Texas energy leader touts strength
Texas Oil & Gas Association says it's the energy sector that's one of the main economic drivers, even in tough times. Photo by Calin Tatu/Shutterstock

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The Texas oil and gas industry is job-creating and economic machine, contributing more than $20 million a day in revenue, an industry body said.

Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the United States and hosts roughly half of all the national activity related to oil and natural gas exploration and production. According to the Texas Oil & Gas Association, that translated to $9.4 billion in taxes and revenue last year.

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Todd Staples, president of the association, said that holding top honors as an energy state makes Texas a financial and labor leader for the oil and gas industry.

"Even in a down market during fiscal year 2016, the Texas oil and natural gas industry contributed an average of $26 million a day to state and local revenue," he said in a statement.

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A January survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said about 233,000 jobs would be added to state payrolls this year, a slight downward revision from estimates earlier in the year. The bank said state-wide job growth was close to zero in December, though energy executives responding to its surveys said their outlook was improving along with crude oil prices, which have more or less doubled from last year's lows.

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The Texas energy sector, as well as the state economy, was under pressure for most of last year because of a downturn in crude oil prices. The state reported an average preliminary crude oil production for November, the last full month for which it published data, of 2.4 million barrels per day, an increase of about 2 percent year-on-year

With a nod to Washington's pro-energy policies, Staples said it was incumbent upon policymakers to ensure their agenda matched the momentum in the energy sector.

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"We hope lawmakers maintain their commitment to science-based regulations," he said.

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