It has been a big year for energy in Texas, though most of the headlines have been grim.
The winter power outages and summer grid alerts had more Texans questioning the stability of the electric system in a state that always boasts about its energy prowess.
Beyond the headlines there’s an even bigger story — oil and natural gas are fading in prominence and no longer driving the state’s economic growth. This has been true for some time already, but new data show the significance of fossil fuels’ decline.
According to a new independent report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the oil and gas industry has dropped from 21 percent of the Texas gross state product in 1981 to just 10 percent now. Tax revenues tell a similar story. Oil and gas made up 28 percent of revenues in 1991 before bottoming out at 3 percent in 1999 and then staying below 10 percent ever since.