Twenty-two proposed Utah and Wyoming oil and gas projects where 44,289 wells would be drilled potentially could annually support 120,905 jobs paying $8 billion in wages, generate $27.5 billion of economic activity, and produce $139 million of government revenue, a study funded by the Western Energy Alliance concluded. The projects’ total economic impact over their anticipated 10-15 year lifespan is an estimated $383.5 billion, it said.
Most of the wells, 30,789, are proposed in National Environmental Policy Act documents that have been under review for more than 2 years, the study by SWCA Environmental Consultants noted. WEA said as it released the study, “Many of these were begun over 5 years ago, delaying projects for years past the usual processing times."
Outstanding projects delayed for more than 3 years in the 2 states represent 22,835 proposed wells, or about 1,631 wells/year, the study said. “Federal government delays to these projects are preventing the creation of 64,805 jobs, $4.3 billion in wages, and $14.9 billion in economic impact every year,” it said.
“Government delays during the environmental analysis phase are preventing significant job creation and economic activity,” said Kathleen Sgamma, WEA’s vice president of government and public affairs.
The Denver-based regional association of independent producers’ members know first-hand how difficult it is to operate on public lands, Sgamma observed. “Federal policies discourage domestic oil and natural gas production, and put the West at a disadvantage compared to other regions of the country without a preponderance of public lands,” Sgamma said.
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