(The Center Square) – North Dakota’s oil and gas industry accounts for more than 50% of the total state tax revenue and generates more than 30% of North Dakota’s overall gross business volume, according to two studies presented by Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday.
“The oil and natural gas industry continues to be a game-changer for North Dakota,” Burgum said. “Taxes and royalties paid by the industry support our state’s significant investments in infrastructure, schools, communities, tax relief and the Legacy Fund, among other areas. The industry’s resiliency in the face of challenges such as the pandemic, extreme weather, volatile prices and misguided federal policies, demonstrates that it will continue to play a critically important role in North Dakota’s economy for generations to come.”
One of the studies from North Dakota State University found the oil and gas industry accounted for nearly 50,000 jobs, directly employing 14,200 people in 2021 and supporting an additional 35,185 jobs. The study looked at the oil and gas industry’s economic contribution using data from 2021, the most recent data available. This is the ninth time researchers have examined the industry’s economic impact.
The oil and gas industry generates over $46 billion in gross business volume and $3.8 billion in state and local tax revenues. The billions collected in taxes from the oil and gas industry are then poured into various areas, including education, water funding and infrastructure, the researchers said.
From fiscal years 2008 to 2022, taxes collected from the oil and gas industry put $1.8 billion in K-12 education, $1.4 billion for water and flood control projects, over $1 billion for property tax relief, $8 billion to the state’s Legacy Fund, and $32 million for “outdoor heritage projects” statewide, one of the studies found.
“Every county and community has and continues to benefit from this industry,” said Geoff Simon, executive director of the Western Dakota Energy Association.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, North Dakota’s oil and gas industry has seen a $2.38 billion increase in its total gross business volume since 2019, according to Burgum.
Burgum said the industry had faced challenges with the current Biden Administration. The state was working to fight what he called an illegal suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
“We’re going to continue to fight for what’s right not only for the industry but for our country and for the environment. Because nobody produces energy cleaner and safer and better than we do in the United States and if you really cared about the environment you would want to have every single ounce of energy, whether it’s base-level electricity or whether it’s oil and gas and liquid transportation fuels, you’d want to have all of that produced in the United States,” Burgum said.