Mindy Stitt: Energy industry’s financial benefits measurable
For the average American family, the past year has been difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on financial uncertainty for many. As we all pay closer attention to our pocketbooks, there is one industry in particular that is positively affecting our household budgets: the Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry.
Thanks to the people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas and technologies like horizontal drilling, we have unlocked vast amounts of reserves and made the U.S. one of the leading producers in the world. Every barrel of oil produced here is one less we have to import. One less ship we need to deploy. Every drop of American oil is a gain for every American family.
And, there is more good news. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisors, increased domestic oil and natural gas production, including right here in Oklahoma, saves American families an estimated $2,500 annually. A majority of that savings comes from affordable, clean and reliable natural gas, which has helped lower electricity costs by 45% since 2007. These are huge impacts for the average family, especially during colder seasons in Oklahoma when many households rely on natural gas to heat their homes.
For lower-income families who spend a larger share of their household budget on energy costs, these savings are even more significant. Energy costs for these families can be as much as 7% of their monthly budget, which is more than five times the energy cost of higher-income families. The savings is even higher for Oklahomans. In 2018, Oklahoma electricity costs averaged 7.55 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to the national average of 10.8 cents.
Thanks to the ingenuity of the hardworking men and women of the Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry, we are fortunate to have access to lower household energy costs. While we all weather the ups and downs of the past year, I’m grateful that our state is powered by such a resilient, innovative and dependable industry.