2024IADC, Regulation, and LegislationJuly/AugustSafety and ESG

Advocating for the drilling industry with a unified voice on C.A.R.E.S.

From Brad James, IADC Chairman

It’s a well-known principle that there’s strength in numbers, and that the collective has more power and stability than individuals operating alone. The same holds true for the drilling industry. While each person and company within our industry is dynamic and influential on their own, our strength and effectiveness are multiplied when we come together.

True progress is achieved when the industry collaborates to solve problems, shares knowledge and best practices, and educates others about the importance of our work. Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of an exceptional experience through IADC. In April, a group of us traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill. We discussed the industry’s current efforts and challenges, highlighting the conditions needed to continue providing energy to America and the world. By positioning ourselves as subject matter experts, we established direct lines of communication in case lawmakers require our assistance on relevant legislation in the future. The trip proved effective, primarily because we presented a collective voice for the industry with a unified message.

For too long, the oil and gas industry has been demonized and underappreciated for the vital work we do. Perhaps some of this stems from malice, but more likely, it originates from fear and misunderstanding. In his book “In the Dark: Fixing Energy Policies That Hurt People & the Planet,” Brian Gitt notes that eliminating fossil fuels “is an overly simplistic solution to a complex problem.” He explains, “When we carefully examine different energy sources and different energy needs around the world, we discover that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will meet all the world’s energy needs.” 

Fossil fuels will continue to be an essential part of the energy mix needed to meet global demand. The energy expansion is a matter of employing all of our best resources to get the job done. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here; we just need to continue optimizing and advancing the process for retrieving hydrocarbons, the world’s primary energy source for well over half a century.

Utilizing consistent and unified messaging empowers us to tell our story on our own terms. Key decision makers, as well as the general public, don’t get many opportunities to observe this industry in a positive light. They don’t necessarily see how much we care about the planet and its people, or the time and effort we dedicate to advancing and improving technologies and processes. That’s why having a unified message allows us to confront common misconceptions with facts and present a pragmatic, well-rounded perspective.

So, what’s our message? That this industry C.A.R.E.S. — we provide Clean, Affordable, Reliable and Efficient energy in Sustainable ways. This messaging was utilized during the most recent IADC Washington, DC, fly-in. I think it would greatly benefit the industry if we adopted this message on a global scale. It works because it’s concise and accurate, and it relays a collective message that is often overlooked, which is that this industry truly does care. We care about the planet, about people, sustainability, energy poverty, reducing carbon emissions and safety. We’re passionate about what we do because we care about people having access to the resources and materials they need, including everything from mundane household items to life-saving medical equipment. 

IADC provides an excellent platform for people to get involved in advocating for this great industry. In addition to the visits to Capitol Hill, IADC also formed and oversees DrillersPAC, which is the only US political action committee that advocates directly on behalf of drilling contractors. DrillersPAC helps maximize the impact of our advocacy efforts by raising money to support political candidates aligned with the industry’s policy goals. The PAC also holds events throughout the year, such as the recent luncheon with Congressman Wesley Hunt, as well as the upcoming second annual DrillersPAC 3-Gun Competition, which will be held in October. 

Outside the US, IADC advocates for drilling contractors in a multitude of ways. For example, IADC has been an observer delegate for the International Maritime Organization since 1975. The association advocates for drilling contractors in this capacity by providing support and consultation to the global maritime community on matters affecting mobile offshore drilling units. 

Another example that comes to mind is the recently formed IADC Geothermal Committee. This committee was formed from a workgroup located mainly in the European Union that seeks to guide and support members in the geothermal landscape. In addition to developing geothermal guidelines, definitions and resources, this committee will also engage with governments and organizations to promote favorable policies in this sector. 

We can support and advocate for this vital industry in numerous ways. Whether through impactful conversations with key decision makers, committee involvement to create resources and share knowledge, or simply showing up to work each day with passion and enthusiasm, the responsibility to tell our stories from our perspectives lies with us. By coming together as a collective and presenting a unified message, we can effectively confront misconceptions, spread awareness and ensure the drilling industry’s essential role in meeting global energy needs is recognized and appreciated. After all, we are the true subject matter experts, and this industry is worth standing up for.  DC 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button