Future generations are depending on us to keep the American dream alive. For too long we in America have been wasting time blaming the energy industry or the government for failure to adopt a national energy strategy when we each should be responsible for creating the plan.
In order to create a plan, energy education should be at the forefront.
Since I entered the energy business in 1977, going on 40 years, the industry has continually been forced to defend itself. For example, in 1985, I testified before the U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee, in a 43-page report, on the potentially devastating effects that proposed regulations would have on the oil and gas industry, in term of job loss, and reductions in drilling expenditures, at a time when the vital industry most needed support. Sound familiar?
At a White House briefing I attended in September 2006, I asked U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman about the status of pending national energy education initiatives. He did not have an answer, but promised he would have an aide contact me with answers. The aide did call, but provided me little information. Energy education was needed then, as it is now.
On Dec. 4, 2013, at the South Texas Wildcatters Association in San Antonio, I launched the energy education campaign “It’s Time to Tell Our Story!” based upon my book “America Needs America’s Energy: Creating Together the People’s Energy Plan!” The message has been delivered through radio interviews in more than 30 states and 150 radio stations, a weekly radio show, weekly column/blog, speeches throughout the U.S., op-eds, newspaper interviews, and other media outlets.
The following are among those who I personally am involved with to provide energy education:
IEPC energy policy conference: In 1992, I founded and chaired the first conference, which was held at the University of Oklahoma. Conferences have been held in Washington, D.C., Tulsa, Denver, Houston and Oklahoma City. In 2017, the 25th anniversary, events will be held throughout Oklahoma. Upcoming conferences/roundtables that are planned to be held include 2018- Detroit, 2019-Washington, D.C., and 2020-Houston.
The Energy Advocates: Energy Advocates was founded in 1974. The primary mission of The Energy Advocates is to inform the general public about our vital energy industry and energy policy.
Exploring Energy radio show and newspaper: On the first Monday of each month, I am the guest on the award-winning radio show and have a monthly column in the newspaper. Through news and interviews, hosts Shawn Wilson and Nathan Brewer talk about all aspects of energy, from oil and gas to wind, solar, coal, nuclear, and geothermal, for one hour/five days a week. Big Chief Plant Services Exploring Energy Show is the main sponsor and Paul Joseph is the producer. Exploring Energy newspaper distributes 20,000 copies per month.
Oilman Magazine: I have a column in each issue of the magazine. The magazine is Houston based. In addition to the magazine, the website oilmanmagazine.com is a good source for energy education.
GTR Newspapers: I have a monthly column in the Greater Tulsa Reporter newspapers – Union Boundary, Midtown Monitor, Jenks District Gazette, Broken Arrow Express, Owasso Rambler, and the Bixby Breeze. Thanks to Forrest Cameron, GTR editor and publisher, for providing the opportunity to provide energy education.
University of Tulsa Master of Energy Business Industry Advisory Council: I serve as a member of the advisory council along with around 25 others from across the nation. The program is designed for working professionals who already have some experience in the energy industry. It has a broad-based energy business focus and is designed to train students on and managing organizations across the entire energy complex. The Master of Energy Business (MEB) is a 34-credit-hour graduate program offered in a technology-enriched online delivery format.
The oil and gas industry touches our lives daily. Petroleum-based consumer products that Americans use daily include: antiseptics, asphalt, bottles, clothes, computers, contacts, deodorant, drinking cups, eyeglasses, plastics, shampoo, shoes, shaving cream, telephones, toothbrushes, trash bags, tires, vitamin capsules, and thousands of other products.
There are men and women taking great care in making sure – 24/7 – that the consumer has the necessary energy to maintain a standard of life. From the drilling rig to pipeline to refinery to oil truck to tanker, the energy industry is making a difference. We should not become complacent at any time when it comes to providing energy education. Energy is the future of America and America Needs America’s Energy!
Mark A. Stansberry, Chairman of The GTD Group, is an award-winning author, columnist, film and music producer, radio talk show host and 2009 Western Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee. Stansberry has written five energy-related books. He has been active in the oil and gas industry for over 44 years, having served as CEO/President of Moore-Stansberry, Inc., and The Oklahoma Royalty Company. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, Chairman 2016-2017 of the Gaylord-Pickens Museum/Oklahoma Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Lifetime Trustee of Oklahoma Christian University, and Board Emeritus of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team. He has served on several public and private boards. He is currently on the advisory board of IngenuitE, Inc.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.