The natural gas boom that began in the early 2000s has helped Texas become one of the top states in the nation for gas production, the nation’s second-largest source of greenhouse gases.
And now, a new report suggests Texas could be on track to add another 400,000 jobs in the coming years thanks to natural gas.
The report by the American Association of State and Municipal Employees (AASME) and the Texas Association of Business (TAB) estimates the total economic impact of Texas natural-gas development could grow from $5.3 billion to $8.7 billion over the next decade.
That’s a lot of new jobs.TAB President and CEO Jeff Gattis says that figure could grow to nearly $16 billion in a decade.
“The growth potential for Texas natural resources is just so great,” Gattas said in an interview.
“It’s just really exciting.”
The new economic report was based on a detailed analysis of nearly 200 Texas natural resource projects that the state has signed on to develop over the last decade.
It was completed by an independent research group that has ties to the Texas Natural Resources Council.
In the report, AASME and TAB identified about 2,000 projects in Texas that have either been approved or are under construction, ranging from the new gas transmission and distribution lines that will bring electricity from West Texas to Houston to the west to the east and the gas pipelines that will carry it across the state.
The TAB has pushed for the projects to go ahead, citing the potential for hundreds of thousands of new direct and indirect jobs.
Gattas says he thinks the Texas natural reserves are one of Texas’ best assets.
“There’s really a lot to be gained from natural gas,” he said.
“We don’t have a lot in our energy infrastructure.”
Gattis acknowledges that natural gas production will be limited for some time.
“But it’s not a problem we have any plans to address.”
He says the economic benefits of the gas boom will be felt by Texas families and businesses as long as the natural gas infrastructure is developed properly.
“There’s going to be growth in Texas,” Gannas said.
“It’s a good investment.
And the Texas economy is going to benefit.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, said the new jobs report was just the first of many jobs the state will see in the future.
“This is just the beginning,” Abbott said.
He added that the natural resources boom will bring jobs to Texas in the pipeline for years to come.
“Our job is to put our people to work in our communities, not to look for a quick fix for ourselves.”
Abbott says the Texas economic potential is now greater than it was a decade ago.
“You can see the results of that in Texas, in the state of Texas,” he told the AP.
Travis County Executive Sally Hernandez has been working hard to bring jobs back to Texas.
In March, she announced the state is bringing back 500 full-time jobs to the area by 2021.
“I want to give Texas a lot more than just good jobs,” Hernandez said in a statement announcing the jobs announcement.
“I want Texas to be the leader in developing the next generation of jobs.”
Follow AP Health Writer Liz Kreutz on Twitter at @lizkreutz