Natural gas has become a major driver of economic growth and job creation in Okaloosa County and across Florida. As one of the nation’s top natural gas producing states, Florida is seeing significant investment and expansion in natural gas production, pipelines, and related industries.
This increased economic activity is creating good-paying jobs right here in our community. According to Okaloosa Gas District, over 200 people are currently employed by Okaloosa Gas.
- And industry leaders expect continued growth, with numerous new positions created over the next 3-5 years if production increases to meet rising demand.
“The natural gas industry is providing stable, good-paying jobs for many Okaloosa residents,” said Okaloosa Gas Vice President Eddie Springle. “These jobs pay well above average and don’t always require a college degree. For lots of folks, it’s an opportunity to build a career and provide for their families.”
Okaloosa Gas District provides natural gas service to the four major military installations in Okaloosa and Walton Counties which includes Eglin Air Force Base – the largest Air Force Base in the world. In addition, the District supplies natural gas to the Navy Installation, Whiting Field, in Santa Rosa County.
- Elsewhere, Okaloosa Gas supplies natural gas to the City of Milton in Santa Rosa County, the City of Gulf Breeze in Escambia County, Walton County, and TECO Peoples Gas in Panama City Beach.
Beyond direct jobs in drilling and pipeline construction, the American Gas Association estimates each new natural gas job results in an additional 3-4 jobs created in related industries. This includes increased business for local restaurants, shops, hotels, and other services that support natural gas employees.
The economic benefits trickle down to the community level too, positively impacting residents and local businesses. From lower energy costs for households to increased affordability for local businesses, natural gas helps foster economic development in our region.
- Natural gas development brings other economic perks as well. Natural Gas companies pay significant fees and taxes to state and local governments, helping fund schools, infrastructure, and community services.
There’s no denying the economic importance of natural gas to Okaloosa County. From job creation and local economic growth to the everyday comfort of heating our homes, natural gas and Okaloosa Gas District are both integral parts of our community.