Illinoisans Express Strong Support for State’s Oil Industry

Though it hasn’t gotten much attention, Illinois residents have demonstrated strong support for the Illinois oil industry in recent months.

Most recently, a survey of 700 Illinois residents commissioned by the Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN) coalition showed that a vast majority of Illinoisans recognize the importance of the industry to the state’s economy and endorse the United States’ continued march toward energy independence. As the Williston Daily Herald (North Dakota) reported:

“The poll found that Illinois residents not only support [expansion of the] Dakota Access [Pipeline], but the energy industry in general. Ninety-percent said they believe it’s important for the United States to be energy independent, while 85 percent agreed that the oil and gas industry is important to the economy in Illinois.”

Additionally, 17 Illinois oil-producing counties over the past several months have passed Resolutions of Support for the Illinois Oil Production Industry. Collectively, these 17 counties account for 90 percent of the state’s more than 8 million barrels of annual oil production.

These non-binding resolutions formally express that the respective county boards support and encourage the presence and further growth of the oil production industry in their county. The resolutions recognize the thousands of jobs the industry creates and supports in these counties, and the millions of dollars in sales and property tax revenues the industry generates.

The passage of these resolutions directly counter the common misconception that oil and natural gas development is widely unpopular.

“Every year the industry is attacked by outside groups who seek legislation that would effectively put a vital economic engine out of business,” Illinois Oil and Gas Association (IOGA) President Bryan Hood said. “These resolutions demonstrate that folks from the region of the state where production actually occurs are not in favor of policies that would adversely impact the industry.”

As IPRB has highlighted before, the Illinois oil production industry is responsible for more than 4,000 direct jobs – supporting more than 14,000 Illinois jobs overall – generating $770 million in annual personal and business income. The industry also generates $330 million in annual state tax revenue and $3 billion in overall economic impact in the Land of Lincoln. A vast majority of Illinois’ direct oil production industry jobs are based in the counties that have passed the above resolutions, while more than $82 million in local property tax revenues were generated from 2007-2018 in those 17 counties.

“The passage of these resolutions in counties collectively responsible for 90 percent of Illinois oil production clearly illustrates the strong support for the oil production industry in the area of the state where a vast majority of production occurs,” Illinois Petroleum Resources Board (IPRB) Executive Director Seth Whitehead said. “For more than a century, the industry has provided employment opportunities, tax revenue and school funding in a region of the state that is in dire need of all three. IPRB applauds the leadership of these counties for recognizing the importance of the industry to their communities.”

Signed copies of the resolutions that have passed in each of the 17 counties can be downloaded at the following links.