Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Our KUQU 93.9 signal in Washington and Iron counties is off the air and will be repaired by April 23. Thank you for your patience.
Health, Science & Environment

Low Gas Prices Help Consumers, Hurt Utah's Energy Industry

14319902599_50d197ee0f_z_0.jpg
Mike Mozart
/
Flickr Creative Commons

Gas prices are tumbling, thanks to a glut of petroleum on the world market. That may be great for consumers, but it’s tough for Utah’s petroleum industry and the state budget.

In Utah, average gas prices have fallen to $2.64 a gallon.  As a result, the state’s cost of living fell .2 percent last month.

But Utah also ranks 9th for energy production, and those low prices dig into the revenues of energy companies and state government.

“We’re going to see some decline in production,” says

Laura Nelson, director of the Utah Energy Development Office.

“We have not evaluated fully what the impact will be,” she adds, “but I think it will probably be a little naïve to think that there won’t be some impact to revenues.”

World prices have fallen below $60 a barrel. That’s about half what they were last summer.

And these low prices come as state leaders are thinking about seeking control of federal lands in Utah. A recent report says taking over those would only be economical if energy prices stay high.

Last year mineral lease revenue and oil and gas royalties from public lands exceeded $500 million.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.