Texas’ Biggest Industry Doesn’t Want a Biden Presidency

Texas’ Biggest Industry Doesn’t Want a Biden Presidency

June 29, 2020

Texas heavily relies on its oil and natural gas industry. The industry supports over one million direct and indirect jobs in the state, provides billions of dollars in tax revenue every year, and supports over 10,000 businesses. Revenue generated by the industry supports Texas’ infrastructure investment, water conservation programs, schools and education, first responders, and more. Oil and natural gas is the state’s economic backbone, and it resoundingly fears the consequences of a Biden presidency.

According to a survey of the Texas Oil and Gas Association member companies, conducted by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, 76% of respondents said they possess either a great deal or a good deal of concern about what a Biden victory would mean to their companies’ economic well-being.

A Houston Public Media article on the survey reads:

“The perception by upstream producers is that a Democratic president and maybe a more Democratic Congress could result in increasing regulation on oil extraction and production,” said Pablo Pinto, director of the Hobby School’s Center for Public Policy.

Respondents to the survey considered a Biden victory to be an even greater threat than an oversupply of oil and gas – 75% – or weak demand for their products – 73%. Biden has gone back and forth on a complete ban on fracking, but has always been in favor of heavy regulations that would make future projects more difficult. This stands in direct opposition to where the respondents see their industry going.

Seventy percent of respondents were comparatively optimistic about the prospects for global growth between now and May 2021. Roughly 15% were pessimistic about global growth, while another 15% expected global growth to stay roughly the same. Virtually all of respondents — 98% — believed that the price of oil per barrel in May 2020 represented the nadir for the industry, and that prices would rise over the coming year.

Oil and natural gas is a massive industry in Texas, and its representatives are very clear about who is good for the future of their business. This industry supports over one million jobs and generates billions of dollars in revenue for the state. Oil and natural gas companies are struggling in the wake of Covid-19’s economic fallout and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia – it has never been more important to support this vital industry, and to avoid leadership that will work to restrict it.