Fracking and Denton’s Economy: A Quick Response to the Perryman Study
The oil and gas industry is well funded and they are certainly pros when it comes to messaging, media relations, and politics. Which is why they perfectly timed the release of an economic study on the impacts of a proposed fracking ban just when the local, regional, and national media frenzy began. They know that means there won’t be enough time for anyone talking about this issue to digest and properly analyze their data, yet they’ll get every reporter leading off with their claims taken right off the front page of their 69 page report.
The report claims that Denton will lose millions if this ban goes through. Whatever you think about the wisdom of adopting a fracking ban in Denton, let’s make sure we are all aware of the facts here.
To begin with, it should be notable that the study was funded my the oil and gas industry and commissioned by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. If it is true, as the report claims, that $251.4 million in gross product and 2077 person-years of employment would result from the continuation of Denton fracking over the next 10 years, we know that the vast majority of that money and the jobs will go to OUT OF TOWN companies and their workers. Hence, the concern of the Fort Worth Chamber – they are home to a bunch of major oil and gas companies as the map below shows.
Here are some economic facts that show the real economic impact of natural gas operations in Denton:
Out of $6,979,224,274 in total property values across the city, only $81,463,434 come from minerals – that’s only 1.17%.
From that, the city gets only $561,894 in property tax revenue. That amounts to only 1.1% of all our property tax revenue and only 0.5% of all the revenue going into our General Fund.
Realize that Mineral Property Values are assessed regardless of any real plans to develop them. It’s likely that this revenue would continue with or without a ban on fracking.
Only 0.27% of Denton jobs come from oil and gas operations. And these numbers have gone down 2.2% between 2012 and 2013.
The Airport Gas Fund gets about $900,000 a year in royalties. That money comes from existing wells that are in production and would continue to produce with or without a ban on fracking in Denton.
Likewise, the Park Gas Well Fund gets about $150,000 a year in royalties. That money comes from existing wells that are in production and would continue to produce with or without a ban on fracking in Denton.