Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive October 2014 Show 1442 Oklahoma Energy Impact

Oklahoma Energy Impact

Oklahoma’s energy industry is vital to the state’s economy.
Oklahoma Energy Impact

Oklahoma Energy Impact

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Oklahoma Department of Energy

Show Details

Show 1442: Oklahoma Energy Impact
Air Date: October 19, 2014



Rob McClendon: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us here on “Horizon.” Well, it’s hard to imagine an industry any more important to Oklahoma than energy. Not only does the sector provide one in four jobs in the state, it also generates one out of every three dollars in gross state product. With more here’s our Andy Barth.

Andy Barth: Well, with Oklahoma’s energy industry booming, Gov. Mary Fallin held her annual energy conference to showcase the industry’s success and what its future holds. And everyone in attendance is thrilled with its progress.

Andy: Energy plays a big role in Oklahoma’s economy.

Mary Fallin: Energy is one of our key industries in our state.

Andy: Which is why Gov. Fallin hosted Oklahoma’s fourth annual energy conference – an event highlighting the state’s energy success.

Fallin: Close to one third of our revenue is generated by some form of energy.

Andy: Since 2009, Oklahoma has seen a 69 percent increase in energy production. The state produced 111,000 barrels of oil in 2013 alone. Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation in wind energy and ranks No. 1 when it comes to per capita infrastructure for compressed natural gas – leaving the state wide open for business.

Fallin: Oklahoma is seen, actually, and is rated as the No. 1 best place in the world by the Frasier Institute for oil and gas investment.

Andy: Resulting from high-tech improvements.

Jim Roth: We’ve been on the forefront of technological advances, whether it’s below ground or now with wind technology and how it’s improving with its capacity factors way up, and the numbers look a lot better.

Andy: Jim Roth is an environmental lawyer in Oklahoma and says as the energy industry advances many consumers will have more options.

Roth: You’re gonna see a lot of innovation. I think you’ll see the price of solar come down. You’re gonna start to see where farmers and ranchers and business owners and eventually many homeowners are starting to install energy capacity usage within their own built environment, and that’s a paradigm shift. And I think Oklahoma can continue to be on the front edge of those kinds of issues.

Andy: Currently, one in four Oklahomans are employed by the energy industry – an impact that continually drives the state’s unemployment rate down.

Fallin: We have frankly a low unemployment rate right now. It’s gone from 7 percent four years ago down to 4.5 percent. Oklahoma recognizes that you have to have the skill sets that are important to the energy sector, whatever form of energy it might be.

Andy: And because the energy industry is thriving in the state, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole says other industries are returning home.

Tom Cole: We see manufacturing being reignited. Energy costs are lower so a lot of jobs that we used to export are actually coming back to the United States.

Andy: And Cole says Americans see the value in domestically produced energy.

Cole: People see the advantages of energy security. You know, this has been a huge driver in our economy and producing millions of jobs. But right now we’ve got turmoil in the Middle East, and you haven’t seen gas prices shoot up. And people notice those sorts of things.

Andy: Oklahoma energy – powering and employing our state.

Andy: And while the industry continues to thrive, many companies can’t find enough skilled workers to hire, leaving a huge opportunity and challenge for the state when it comes to employment.

Rob: Well, thank you, Andy. Now, we do have several stories streaming on our website about the work underway to train the workforce to fill the energy industry’s job demand. Just head to where we have those stories streaming under our value added section. Now, when we return we’ll examine the growth of earthquakes in the state and the threat they could have on our economy.