The Employment And Economic Consequences Of Fracking Bans
The controversial process of fracking has become a major source of public concern in the last few years, with nations around the world banning the process and individual counties in many US states instigating their own bans. As the state of Colorado looks into an outright ban on fracking, researchers at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado looked into the over all cost of banning this form of oil and gas extraction.
According to the University of Colorado the big losers in any fracking ban are the local and state governments who rely on taxes generated by fracking activities in their counties and states. In Colorado alone the estimated losses of tax revenue are estimated at $567 million per year, with taxes obtained from a variety of businesses offering their services to fracking companies and workers entering local communities. A fracking ban would be felt at its highest economic level for the first five years, with around $8 billion dollars lost to the Colorado economy during that time.
Banning fracking has far reaching effects on the employment opportunities offered to those inside and outside the industry. Local communities often see a boom in their economies as the influx of workers and large businesses arrive in their region. Banning fracking in a state the size of Colorado would see the loss of 68,000 jobs over a five year period and over 93,000 jobs over a 25 year period.
The market for fracking in Colorado is relatively small, but these number show the problem of limiting the activities of fracking on a larger scale. Some reports state that the 60 year history of fracking has led to around 90 percent of the production of gas and oil in the US being obtained from fracking. Larger states decisions to ban fracking could lead to trillions of dollars lost to the US economy, which is still attempting to recover from the effects of the 2008 economic downturn.
Many countries around the world, particularly in Europe have enacted outright bans on fracking for shale gas. Countries, including France have banned such activities, which leaves a large market for gas and oil open to US exports should fracking continue as a viable option in the majority of US states.