FILE - Fracking derricks

A new study by the American Petroleum Institute (API) credits Michigan’s rebounding economy and job creation, in part, to the abundance of affordable fuels wrought by the country’s shale boom recognized through hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking.

The report arrives as Michigan politicians debate the state’s energy portfolio in general and the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in particular.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats, oppose a proposed line that would be buried 100 feet beneath the underwater bedrock between the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula.

“This Is Energy Progress: The State of American Energy 2020” dedicates a significant portion to analyzing the economy in Lansing and adjacent East Lansing, the geographical area comprising the state’s 8th District. Both municipalities, the document asserts, benefited tremendously from cheap and plentiful fuel.

According to API, the oil, gasoline and petrochemicals industry is directly responsible for $1.7 billion, or 5 percent of the total of the district’s annual economic activity.

Additionally, API reports the industry is responsible for “an additional $791 million in wages, salaries, and benefits to workers in the supply chain and local sectors of the economy” in the 8th District.

“Across Michigan, the natural gas and oil industry contributed $14.6 billion to the state’s economy while supporting more than 159,000 jobs, or nearly 3% of the state’s total employment, in 2015,” according to API.

“From decreased energy costs for families to increased investments in school systems and infrastructure, Americans benefit from the economic growth driven by the U.S. natural gas and oil industry,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said.

“Surprisingly, there are those who respond to this progress with opposition and pushback,” Sommers added. “They suggest that we retreat – by banning hydraulic fracturing, the technology most responsible for U.S. energy leadership and emissions reductions and by promoting policies that would cost our communities jobs and impact our national security.”

Regional Editor

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.