As the world shifts to a greener future, the fossil fuel industry is often quick to point out that communities reliant on oil, gas and coal production risk being left in the lurch.

If the industry disappears, it argues, it is not only the jobs it provides that will go up in smoke—so too will the taxes and royalties it pays that support local schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

Quantifying the scale of that fiscal hit has long eluded researchers. But a new paper from Resources for the Future, a Washington think-tank, puts a figure on it for the first time—and it is chunky.

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