Alabama’s energy industry contributes more than $13 billion a year to the state’s economy and at least 124,000 jobs depend on the energy sector, according to a recent economic impact study – the first of its kind in the state.
The report, conducted by Auburn University at Montgomery professor Dr. Keivan Deravi and the Energy Institute of Alabama, uses figures from 2015 — from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as well as a small sample of data for Alabama-based utility companies was provided by the Energy Institute of Alabama — in attempt to estimate the economic impact of the energy industry of Alabama on the state’s economy.
“Alabama’s energy sector provides the spark that makes the state’s economic engine go. Akin to the consumer who never thinks of what goes into making the lights come on at the flick of a switch, those of us in the energy business were never certain of the exact economic impact provided by the industry,” said former Alabama Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, who now serves as the chairman of the new nonprofit Energy Institute of Alabama. “That has changed.”
Hammett continued, “This study spells out just how important the industry is to our state. Behind the numbers are hard-working Alabamians who help keep the lights on, keep the vehicles rolling and ensure our homes are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”
The study determined 124,000 Alabama jobs depend on the energy business, that the state’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund receive $385 million in tax dollars from the energy sector each year, and that the electricity production component of the industry has a $8.24 billion impact.
“Reliable, affordable energy is vitally important to businesses and manufacturers in our state and seeking to come to Alabama,” said George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama. “This study brings into focus how fortunate we are to have a vibrant energy sector and one that understands how cooperation with business and industry makes for a better state for all of us.”