State of the Economy Summit in Longview voices oil, gas concerns among East Texans

Local News

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – At the State of the Economy Summit in Longview on Wednesday, recovery from the pandemic was a hot topic.

The discussion focused on recovering from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. People said they are especially worried about the Biden administration’s recent decision to shut down oil and gas lease sales.

While Biden made the decision citing his concerns about climate change and said the leasing ban is only temporary, thousands of East Texans are employed or affected by oil and gas. They worry that if the industry suffers, so will the people connected to it.

The Longview summit included elected officials and community leaders. Many business owners expressed their concerns about the short and long term affects of COVID-19.

“The problem was that simultaneously the COVID struck at the same time there were some oil disputes going on and it severely dropped the price of oil per barrel,” Chief Appraiser for Gregg County Libby Neely said.

In 2020, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers reported that nearly 60,000 workers in our state lost their jobs.

However, a survey out Wednesday by the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve is optimistic about 2021. Researchers found that oil and gas businesses in Texas are expanding from fields to refineries.

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