Ever since 1901, when Captain Anthony Lucas struck oil at Spindletop, Texas has been renowned for its vast energy resources. Lucas's historic discovery ignited a frenzy of exploration resulting in the production of enormous amounts of oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. Since 1930, the state has collected more than $35 billion in taxes on oil and gas. Those revenues have helped build some of the nation's best roads, schools and infrastructure.
However, Texas energy production and the benefits the state receives from that production are shrinking. For example, contributions to the state's public schools from the Permanent School Fund, which depends on oil and gas royalties, have fallen by 76 percent since 1982. Over the past two decades, oil production in Texas has fallen by more than half and production is expected to continue its downward trend.