When you think Florida, you rarely think oil production. While the gas and oil industry of Florida has never rivaled Texas or Oklahoma, according to the United States Energy Information Administration, Florida produces around 6,000 barrels of oil per day, and over 2.135 million barrels per year.
In the small, northwest town of Jay, Florida is Jay field, owned by the private oil and gas company Quantum Resources. Spanning more than 14 thousand acres and producing 41 percent of Florida’s Crude Oil, Jay oil field is the primary employer and economic engine of the small community.
Due to an economic downturn, Florida was dependent on every tax dollar they could get their hands on in 2009. The price of oil was at an all time low, and the cost of oil production at an all time high. One month after Christmas, Quantum Resources terminated roughly half of the plant’s employees and announced Jay oil field was ceasing production.
In the town of 693 people, the loss of jobs was devastating. With paychecks gone and the shutdown of production threatening the community’s way of life, lobbyist team, Johnson and Blanton from Tallahassee needed to reduce Quantum’s tax burden to keep the field open, save jobs and save the town. Legislation was created and local government leaders were secured as sponsors.
The new policy established exemptions from the excise tax on oil and gas production in Florida for onshore production from new wells, and temporarily abandoned wells returned to service. The legislation also encouraged additional oil and gas production in the State.
Additionally, business lobbyists Team JB, addressed economic concerns by tiering the tax exemption. When the price of oil per barrel rose over $100 the state would be made whole again, but when price dropped below $100, the oil field would get a break on their taxes to help with production costs.
The legislation passed the Florida Senate on a 1161 vote and the Florida House of Representatives on a 39 1 vote. Shortly thereafter, Quantum’s Jay oil field resumed production. With the help of Team JB, the life of Jay oil field was extended, jobs were saved and the community’s way of life restored.