The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Hawaii

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 17, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Hawaii. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and continued with Montana, Iowa,  Alabama, Arizona and Nebraska last  week. 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 Hawaii, 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.

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

The top-line numbers: over 20,000 jobs supported statewide, according to PwC; more than $2 billion added to the state economy; $1 billion contributed to the state’s labor income. All are significant drivers for the state’s economy.

Page 2 of the document highlights the potential economic benefits to Hawaii if offshore oil and natural gas development. Access for Pacific Coast oil and natural gas exploration and production, including off of California, Oregon and Washington, could lead to an added $28.8 billion per year to the U.S. economy by 2035.

Oil and natural gas development in the Pacific’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) could significantly increase government revenue from royalties, bonus bids, and rents on leases – reaching a cumulative $81 billion from 2017 to 2035. Assuming revenue sharing legislation similar to the arrangement in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico is enacted, coastal states could receive 37.5 percent of the revenue generated which is equal to over $30 billion.

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

A number of industries throughout the Pacific states could benefit from offshore development of oil and natural gas. As the Pacific OCS is developed, suppliers of offshore oil and natural gas equipment are expected to take advantage of the high-tech manufacturing capabilities of the Pacific Coast states, as well as the extensive port infrastructure already in place. Spending by companies involved in finding, developing, and producing oil and natural gas in the Pacific OCS is projected to rise from an average of $675 million per year during the first five years of initial leasing, seismic surveys, and exploratory drilling to a relatively constant rate of over $22 billion per year in 2035.

The future benefits of energy for Hawaii – 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.