Gas prices at the Campus Corner Market are quite different than they were last summer, with prices reaching nearly $4 a gallon. These low prices seem to be hurting the state budget.
Low Gas Prices Hurting the State?
Low gas prices may be a major factor in the economic slowdown in Oklahoma, a member of the Oklahoma House Appropriations and Budget Committee said Friday.
State Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) said the low gas prices hurt the state because Oklahoma is an energy-driven state with an energy-driven economy. High energy prices have produced surpluses for state government, but with the current low energy prices, the budget shortfall could be worse than the already projected $500 million gap.
"[The deficit] could go to $600 million if gas remains low," Terrill said. "I think it's pretty clear the economic downturn is probably going to be worse next year."
A greater economic downturn means less jobs and makes it harder for college students to find work after graduation, but Terrill said he is still pushing for a state energy plan that would create more jobs and provide residents with alternative energy besides oil or natural gas.
Terrill said Oklahoma should be at the forefront of the nation in not only developing natural gas technologies, but also wind, solar and geothermal. He said he hopes he can deliver a new state energy plan this legislative session.