Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s (COGA) President and CEO, Tisha Conoly Schuller revved up the crowds this week at the organizations annual Rocky Mountain “Energy Epicenter”, encouraging attendees to get involved in an Energy Revolution centered around engaging the public and those outside the industry, in discussions rooted in fact. This years conference speakers delved into topics around technology, the economy and public perception, which turned out to be the perfect platform for the launch of the groups newest campaign, My Energy Truth. The campaign, which revolves around five tenants, encourages an honest and personal discussion around individual energy use that is responsible, fact-based, engaged, conscientious and localized.
The campaign is crucial as questions and public scrutiny continues to rise across the country, especially in new areas of development; speculating about the industry, its methodologies, techniques and environmental stewardship surrounding air and water quality. “The foundation of the energy revolution is the foundation of new technologies being created within the industry,” said Conoly Schuller, “It is because of these advancements that resources are more available and more abundant.”
The increased availability and abundance because of these new technologies have assisted in the rise of exploration and production in areas where there has not typically been energy development in the past. “The key component is the unknown,” said Douglas County Commissioner, Jill Repella who’s county is experiencing rapid new energy development, “It’s the pace in which development is happening and the unknown that scares people.”
Since 2000, advancements made in horizontal drilling have helped to increase oil and gas production by almost 40%. “Energy is fundamental to human existence, it is as important to all of us as clean air, water and food and none of these are exclusive from each other,” said Jim Hackett, CEO, Andarko.
The increase in production has helped to ensure a strong American energy future but it has also raised concerns with citizens and environmentalists alike about how far we will go to develop these essential resources. “Corporations influence resources and energy material flow, so we need to work with them and help them advance their conservation goals,” said Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist of the Nature Conservancy, “I think there are enough options out there in nature and there are enough resiliencies that I believe there can be a win-win.”
The win-win attitude was shared by many at the conference who talked about their “Energy Truth” stating their concern over the non-renewable resource. Many shared that they ride their bikes often, are contentious of their thermostats and take into account simple things like turning off the lights. Others in the industry just wanted to have a truthful and engaging conversation with those that oppose the them, “Everyone should be treated with respect and deserve an answer to their concerns,” said Chesapeake Energy’s Digital Communications Manger, Blake Jackson, “We as an industry have to stay transparent. We can do so much better working together.”
Convention staff continued to urge corporations, organizations and individuals alike to take the pledge and assert their “Energy Truth”. The idea is nothing new but it is an essential reminder to people on both sides of the issue that our environment and our need for energy are both desperate and fragile. The campaign made it clear that only through engaging and thoughtful dialogues will we be able to work together to find the best path forward to secure an energy future that all of our grandchildren can be proud of.
What is your energy truth? Log on to www.MyEnergyTruth.org to take the pledge and share your truth.