Contreras: RGV, South Texas, Grounded by Strong Energy sector

Across South Texas, from the Rio Grande Valley up to Corpus Christi and Laredo, there's a story of dynamic growth, new investment and a strong economy to be told.

What's at the heart of our economic muscle? It's a strong Texas oil and natural gas sector.

The direct and indirect benefits that flow from a strong energy economy are also driving our region forward in so many ways.

Most often you hear about the big numbers. Texas' oil and natural gas sector contributes substantial tax revenue to local communities, school districts and the state of Texas. Last year alone, Texas' oil and natural gas producers contributed $9.4 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties. On a per employee basis, the oil and natural gas taxes and royalties is the most paid by any industry sector – six times more than other business sectors, in fact.

But, those big numbers and impact aren't driven just by traditional West Texas oil counties. In Webb County, for example, oil and natural gas accounts for 31 percent of the local tax base. That's money for roads, schools and essential services that our communities rely on and that make cities attractive for corporate relocations, expansion and investment.

And, then there's the indirect benefits that come along with a strong energy sector. Our ports of entry are booming due to the trade of oil and natural gas, which we see come across the Port of Brownsville and our land ports of entry.

View the rest of the story at the Rio Grande Guardian.