UTSA Institute for Economic Development
Tunstall has been the principal investigator for several economic impact and workforce development reports including the Eagle Ford and Cline Shale. He spent a significant portion of his career on workforce and economic development assignments overseas.
Tunstall has worked with small- to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industry lines in the United States, as well as with Fortune 1000 organizations in the telecommunications, hospitality/tourism and information technology sectors. In 2002, he led a research team to develop a Telecommunications Policy Assessment Study for Alaska. He also worked with the Transportation Security Administration to implement revamped airport security screening procedures at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and several regional airports in Southern California.
His background includes work in economic research, statistical analysis, forecasting, strategy development and operational implementation. He holds a Ph.D. in economics and public policy, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Tunstall has written articles for a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal. He also authored Outsourcing and Management and served as the technical editor for Outsourcing for Dummies.
Looking ahead: Implications of unconventional oil and gas in South Texas and the U.S.
The Eagle Ford Shale is transforming the economic landscape in South Texas, as are other shale oil fields in the United States.The UTSA Institute for Economic Development has developed a series of studies for the South Texas area that indicate the Eagle Ford is supporting $61 billion in economic activity and over 100,000 jobs.
These newly tapped shale oil and gas fields are transforming the balance of trade, as well as making the U.S. less dependent on energy imports. There are geopolitical implications for the prospect of the U.S. importing significantly less oil in the future, as well as the use of natural gas in new ways.
The shale activity is also transforming lives and communities in South Texas. However, long term community sustainability is not guaranteed. Community leaders must engage in longer term strategy planning, undertake regional approaches, establish a skilled local workforce, nurture strong institutional management, and exercise fiscal discipline. If South Texas communities do these things, the region will have gone a long way toward ensuring that economic development – which includes job growth, quality of life, and environmental stewardship – will be sustainable for communities across South Texas well into the 21st century and beyond.
Linked In: Thomas Tunstall