Onshore impacts of offshore oil and gas activities. Volume 4. Summary.
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This report presents the results of an analysis of the onshore impacts of Texas offshore oil and gas activities, and the implications of those findings for policy development. The study looked at communities along the Texas coast which were, or were likely to be, impacted by activities associated with offshore drilling and production. The project examined the general economic and demographic impact on the local area, and more especially, the impact on the local public sector to determine whether, and in what form, assistance might be needed by and warranted for coastal communities experiencing effects from offshore activities. For this study, impacts of offshore activity were defined as those measurable changes in oil-related employment, induced changes in other employment and resulting population growth, with attendant costs and revenues for public service providers. Therefore, costs or benefits such as potential risk of environmental damage from oil spills was not within the scope of this work. Final deliberations on the impacts of offshore energy development should include in consideration these less quantifiable impacts as well. Use of the restrictive definition of impact produced a conservative estimate of changes in coastal communities attributable to offshore activities, thus mitigating against an overstatement of impacts. It also increased the comparability of coastal impacts with those observed for an inland community.