The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Kentucky

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 24, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Kentucky. We started the series with Virginia on June 29. 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 Kentucky, 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.

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

The top-line numbers for Kentucky: more than 94,000 jobs supported statewide, according to a PwC study issued in 2013; $7.9 billion added to the state economy; over $4 billion contributed to the state’s labor income.

Page 2 of the document highlights that, in Kentucky, EPA proposed ozone regulations could cost the state’s economy more than $18 billion between 2017 and 2040, and more than 12,900 lost jobs according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.

API is continuing the conversation in a new digital series of advertisements that discusses how the unnecessary tightening of ozone standards nationally could have dire effects locally, in each and every state. Examples for the videos showing the potential impacts for individual states include Indiana, Colorado, Missouri, West Virginia and Virginia.

We say unnecessary because our air is getting cleaner under existing, tough standards. According to EPA, ozone levels are down 18 percent since 2000. The oil and natural gas industry is constantly improving operations, leading the way on investments in greenhouse gas emission-reducing technologies, putting in an estimated $165.4 billion (including shale gas investments) from 2000 through 2012, according to a study by T2 and Associates (see chart, here). That’s more than the rest of private industry combined ($91.2 billion) and more than double the federal government ($79.7 billion). These industry investments include efficiency improvements, advanced vehicle technology, fuel substitution, wind, biofuels and solar.

Energy is critically important to Kentucky, serving as a key engine for the state economy – expanding job opportunities and offering the hope of prosperity to individual Kentuckians and their families.

The future benefits of energy for Kentucky – 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 is 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.