The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Montana

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 10, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Montana. We started our focus on the state level with Virginia on June 29. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Montana, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

Montana state energy informationClick on the thumbnail to bring up a two-page snapshot of energy’s benefits to Montana. 

The top-line numbers for Montana: more than 43,000 jobs supported statewide, according to a PwC study issued in 2013; $4.5 billion added to the state economy; $2 billion contributed to the state’s labor income.

Page 2 of the document highlights the promising economic opportunities for Montanans if crude oil exports are allowed. If federal restrictions on U.S. crude exports are lifted Montana could add as much as $490 million dollars to the state economy in 2020.

We’ve now seen reports -- from Columbia University, IHS, ICF, Brookings, the Aspen Institute, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and others – all pointing to the same conclusions: Blocking trade in crude oil harms consumers, it harms the economy, and it undermines America’s role as a global leader.

Crude oil exports would put downward pressure on U.S. gasoline prices and, if U.S. crude exports are allowed, U.S. weighted average petroleum product prices could decline as much as 2.3 cents per gallon between 2015–2035. The greatest potential annual decline is 3.8 cents per gallon in 2017. These price decreases for gasoline, heating oil and diesel could save American consumers up to $5.8 billion per year, on average, over the 2015–2035 period.

When added up across all of the states that can benefit from exports, nationally, LNG and crude exports could significantly reduce our trade deficit, increase government revenues, grow the economy, and support millions of U.S. jobs in engineering, manufacturing, construction, and facility operations. 

Energy is critically important to Montana, serving as a key engine for the state economy – expanding job opportunities and offering the hope of prosperity to individual Montanans and their families.

The future benefits of energy for Montana – and the rest of the country – largely depend on national decisions on the country’s energy path. A new Wood Mackenzie study contrasts the benefits that a set of pro-development policies could have on energy supplies, jobs, the economy and American households with the likely negative effects on energy of regulatory constrained policies. The key comparisons are found on the first page of the linked document.

Energy is essential for all facets of our daily lives, from powering national, state and local economies to powering the family vehicle. Safe, responsible development of domestic oil and natural gas resources is linked to individual prosperity, energy security and basic liberties.


Reid Porter is a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API, he worked as Account Supervisor at Edelman. Porter double majored in English Literature and the Spanish language at Middlebury College in Vermont. He enjoys traveling, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, soccer, rereading Hemingway novels and spending time with family.