The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Oklahoma

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 20, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Oklahoma. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Hawaii, Idaho and Vermont this 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 Oklahoma, 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.

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

The top-line numbers for Oklahoma: more than 364,000 jobs supported statewide, according to a PwC study issued in 2013; $39 billion added to the state economy; over $23 billion contributed to the state’s labor income.

Page 2 of the document highlights the billions of gallons of corn ethanol mandated by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 included an expanded RFS, which the EPA used to develop a final rule effective July 1, 2010. To comply with the Standard, biofuel producers and importers must blend increasing amounts of biofuels into gasoline and diesel. 

The EPA rushed through approval of an up to 15 percent ethanol blend (E15) without adequate testing, leading to compatibility problems with E15, poor consumer acceptance and significant infrastructure and cost challenges. EPA proposed to address the problem, but has been incapable of finalizing its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

A study by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) released in March 2013 buttresses the argument that the RFS is irretrievably broken. According to NERA, continued implementation of RFS ethanol mandates could:

  • Lead to fuel supply disruptions that ripple adversely through the national economy
  • Cause the cost of diesel to rise 300 percent and the cost of gasoline to rise 30 percent. 
  • Decrease U.S. GDP by $770 billion. 
  • Reduce worker pay $580 billion.

Fill Up On has posted several videos and other documents highlighting some of the disconnects between the original reasoning behind the RFS and the world we live in today.

The future benefits of energy for Oklahoma – 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 and policies are 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.