Tallahassee, FL — Thanks to increased production of abundant, affordable natural gas, Florida families and businesses saved more than $9.3 billion between 2008 and 2018 because of lower prices, according to a new report released by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) that demonstrates the urgent need for greater Gulf of Mexico energy access during our economic recovery.
Households saved over $595 million and Florida industries, including aerospace operations and automobile and plastics manufacturing facilities, saved more than $5.7 billion, according to CEA’s Energy Savings Report. These savings bring relief to Florida’s families, keep the state’s industries competitive and jobs abundant during a time of economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
Crucially for the Sunshine State, lower energy costs keep Florida’s tourism industry – the state’s largest – competitive and robust, and this will be essential to recovery after the COVID cloud lifts.
“This report demonstrates how Florida’s families, farmers, manufacturers and small businesses benefit from an energy strategy that includes expanded exploration and production access from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” CEA Florida Director Kevin Doyle said. “Now more than ever as Florida recovers from COVID-19, energy has the ability to keep contributing to a lower cost of living and generate savings for Florida’s families, farmers and small businesses.”
Last year, the oil and natural gas industry supported roughly 266,800 jobs in Florida and generated more than $22.1 billion in economic impact, according to a 2017 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Overall, the oil and gas industry contributes 10.3 million direct and indirect jobs across the United States, the study found.
“In an uncertain time when our neighbors and communities are facing economic hardship and more than 1.4 million Floridians are unemployed, let’s remember the critical role American energy will play in creating jobs – especially in our tourism industry if prices remain low,” Doyle said. “American energy exploration and production will be a key driver of the recovery, as it has been in every previous modern economic revival. Gulf states must come together to ensure that expanded access in the Gulf of Mexico is included in future leasing opportunities while also ensuring that we do so with the strongest environmental protections for our coastline.”
“This report also serves as a reminder of why we must remain focused on our long-term energy security and dominance to protect our country from outside influences, such as OPEC+, that have attempted to intervene in energy markets and threaten America’s economy and energy independence. As we have learned from the COVID-19 crisis, energy is essential for our national supply chains and manufacturing infrastructure. Floridians and all Americans stand to benefit when we strengthen our energy industry and our supply chains.”
To view the report, click here.