Texas Energy Boom Goes Bust

High oil, gas prices insulated state from economic turmoil, but no longer
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 5, 2008 10:28 AM CST
A pump jack works in a field near a Valero refinery Feb. 17, 2007, in Sunray, Texas.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Oil’s tumbling price is causing the Texas economy to slip, narrowing the economic gap between it and the rest of the US as unemployment flares and tax revenues and housing prices slide, reports the Wall Street Journal. “Until 30 days ago, there was no feeling at all that anything going on in the rest of the country affected us,” said one real-estate broker.

Oil and natural gas prices are off some 50% from their 52-week highs, suddenly giving energy-rich states a taste of what the rest of the nation has been struggling through. Homeowners who hoped big payments for drilling rights would offset their shrinking 401(k) accounts, have seen those dreams evaporate. “It was going to be a godsend,” said one.