Energy News Today

It’s time to tell oil and gas industry’s story

Last March, as COVID-19 was beginning to spread in Midland, Mayor Patrick Payton sat across from a group of doctors who told him if he didn’t shut the city down, he would have 2,000 deaths on his hands. Shortly after that, he met with a group who said if he shut the city down, he was a communist or a socialist and 2,000 people would come after him.

The mayor told that story Wednesday to his audience at the Permian Basin chapter, American Association of Drilling Engineers, to illustrate how extremism has taken hold and important a middle ground has become.

Those in the oil and gas industry – and Payton noted everyone in Midland is touched in some way by the industry – are familiar with extremes, he said at the luncheon, held in conjunction with the Shale Energy Conference.

He defined those extremes as either no fossil fuels at all or renewable energy being unreliable. Residents of the Permian Basin “are the only ones qualified to have that discussion, but they’ve abdicated that position to the extremes,” he said.

Those in the Permian Basin and in the industry need to learn to have better conversations, pointing out that there is no such thing as energy with no fossil fuels or a world with only renewable energy like wind and solar.

“This country can’t move unless the Permian Basin wakes up every day,” he stated, urging those in the industry to tell their story of how important the industry is, what it is doing to improve the environment and how it works to provide power to billions around the world without reliable power, greatly improving those lives.

Payton told his audience he and the mayors of other energy-producing towns in North Dakota and Oklahoma and elsewhere plan to go to Washington, D.C. and speak with senators and congressmen.

“We will show up on Capitol Hill and tell or story,” he said. “We need to step back from the extremes and step down to the issues ahead of us. Real life occurs in the middle. Those are the doors we will knock on. If we change the minds of three senators, we will win. If we get 10 representatives to change their minds, we will win. We will sit across the table from them and ask if they understand energy, if they understand oil and gas production.”

“You stand at the epicenter of a moment in history to take back the narrative on the oil and gas industry that powers America, that powers the American dream. You have to spread that gospel, you have to tell that story,” he said.

He concluded, “This is the third most strategic oil and gas producing basin in the world. It’s time to grow up and act like it.”

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2021-06-09 22:27:14

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