2021IADC, Regulation, and LegislationJuly/August

Editorial: Industry and policymakers must jointly create predictable legislative, regulatory environment

Leslie Beyer, Energy Workforce & Technology Council

As our industry is in the midst of monumental change, it’s never been more important for the energy services sector to speak with a unified voice. Around the globe, politicians, industry leaders and investors are impacting the future of energy. Only by working together will we be able to craft realistic public policies to meet the world’s growing need for reliable, abundant, affordable and cleaner energy.

 To this end, the merger of the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association and the Association of Energy Services Companies was initiated to strengthen our voice in this critical conversation. The combined entity, the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, represents more than 600 companies and 600,000 employees in the energy services sector of the oil and gas industry.

The Council brings together diverse portions of the energy services and equipment sector to extend our reach and amplify the effectiveness of our advocacy and communications efforts. We collaborate regularly with sister organizations like IADC on issues of shared interest, such as ending the Biden Administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

In a highly charged and partisan political era, it’s important for trade associations to collaborate and secure support from members of both parties and to contribute to public policy that will meet growing energy demand and achieve climate goals. Industry and policymakers must come together to create a predictable legislative and regulatory environment with a clear understanding that arbitrary dates do not accelerate technological advances.

As our organizations collaborate, we will continue to communicate the message that energy transition is about developing solutions to technical problems, not picking winners and losers based on ideology. There’s no single solution that can get us to our goals. We need many answers to the energy questions posed by different conditions and resources available in areas around the world. In every part of energy production, companies are engaged in the work of invention and innovation.

In addition, realistic policies must reflect the truth that all energy sources have environmental impacts and technological challenges. Energy transition is not about a shift from one source of energy to another; it should be about adding options to form a diverse energy ecosystem that can meet the goals of clean, affordable and reliable energy – and protects the national security of the United States. 

The world will need members of the Council and IADC to take a leadership role. We have a history of finding and deploying technological innovations at a global scale, and we’re primed to do it again. Companies known for pushing American oil production to its highest level in history are using artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analysis to deliver breakthrough solutions for carbon capture and storage, remote monitoring to eliminate methane emissions, and digital and automation applications that drive efficiency and safety.

Achieving clean, abundant and affordable energy is possible if we invest wisely. Policies should support research and development not just on renewables, battery technology and energy efficiency, but also on ways to make production and use of oil and gas resources cleaner and safer. It also should fund infrastructure projects to make sure energy supply chains are resilient and secure.

Every form of energy has advantages and disadvantages, but the American energy industry is the most advanced in the world and has innovated and adapted throughout its history. This time will be no different. We can work together through the Council and IADC to deliver a lower carbon future and a reliable and sensible energy mix that will fuel increased prosperity around the globe. DC

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