Statistical data and information is essential for making informed decisions about natural resources. Here's our take on how some provinces, territories, and states in the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region are treating the issue - and how they can improve.
Just in time for the 26th annual summit of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Foundation in Calgary, on July 17th, we've prepared a report discussing member-governments' treatment of statistical information on natural resources.
The appendices mentioned in the report can be found here (Appendix 1, US, and Appendix 2, Canada). These data tables are in spreadsheet format and feature natural resource GDP-by-industry statistics for PNWER member governments.
For some members, like Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, it isn’t surprising that natural resource revenues are not reported; the natural resource sector’s contribution to GDP is less than 3% for both Oregon and Washington, and around 5% for Idaho. Though we advocate for full transparency, we are content to accept that making this data available isn’t necessary – the GDP figures we have compiled create a sufficient picture of the role and impact of natural resources on these three state economies, even without precise resource revenue figures.
But for Yukon and the Northwest Territories governments, there is an identifiable gap. Natural resources, particularly mining, have major roles in the economies of these two territories, and while we are reasonably certain that they represent a substantial contribution to government revenues, government communications do not fully reflect whether this is indeed the case.
Be sure to take a look at the report and see our suggestions.