Texas energy powers America: Strategic Framework

Our look at how Texas energy powers America is part of our blog series for Texas 2036’s Strategic Framework, which provides in-depth, cross-cutting data to inform key decisions about the most significant issues facing the state.

It’s hardly a surprise that Texas leads the nation in energy production. Our state has extensive proven oil and gas reserves within the internationally renown Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale and other major formations. But just as the hydrocarbons below our feet provide a strong foundation for Texas’ energy influence, the abundant sun and wind above our heads augment our power-generating capacity.

Goal No. 21 in Texas 2036’s recently updated Strategic Framework reveals how well Texas’ energy sector is performing towards the goal of leading the nations’ energy production with responsible natural resource stewardship. Looking at the data used to measure success, Texas outshines its peer states in terms of British thermal unit, akaBTU, energy production.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas generated 23,329.1 trillion BTU of energy in 2020.  This generation comes from oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power and renewable resources such as wind, solar and biofuels.

Texas’ closest peer in power generation is Pennsylvania, which generated only 9,492.1 trillion BTU in 2020. This is less than half of what Texas produced in that same year. Other top producing energy states, including Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and North Dakota—each with their own well-known and proven hydrocarbon resources—produced significantly less than Texas’ capacity.

Combined, the U.S. generated 95,710.9 trillion BTU of energy in 2020. Nearly one fourth of that generation—a phenomenal amount—came from the Texas powerhouse.

Texas’ dominance in energy production positions the state to lead in a new era of energy expansion. Here, oil and gas will continue to play an integral role as our industries expand into newer, cleaner forms of energy production that include hydrogen and a broader renewable portfolio. Carbon capture and underground storage will play an integral role here too.

And this is precisely what voters want. According to a recent Texas 2036 Texas Voter Poll, 72% of Texans want the state to remain as the nation’s leader in an energy expansion that includes the adoption of new technologies that provide cleaner forms of energy. Given Texas’ existing leadership in American energy production, the state has a strong foundation for making this happen.