The County-Level Impacts of an Energy Transition on Public Revenues
Meeting today’s urgent climate goals will require the United States to transition away from using fossil fuels in all sectors, including energy. This energy transition will have far-reaching effects on public revenues for multiple levels of government. Understanding which local government units are most reliant on different kinds of energy-related taxes, fees and royalties can inform decisions on federal financial assistance and support state and local governments in planning for an energy transition. However, to date, studies on local governments’ reliance on these revenues have either provided high-level estimates or granular analysis of specific communities. Research has yet to provide both depth and breadth at the local-level, in part because revenues derived from energy generation and fossil fuel extraction, processing, and transport are not always systematically reported by state or local governments. This study compiles a dataset of energy-related public revenues for county and sub-county units in 79 counties across 10 US states. We provide insight into the relative magnitudes of local energy revenues, identify ‘hot spots’ where changes to policies or economic conditions might have disproportionate impacts, and provide a basis for further studies expanding data collection and analysis at the local level.
Amy Van Zanen