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Better Together

Better Together                                                          

By Greg Kozera– 

This week Lynnda and I had dinner with a couple of our friends at the 12th Annual West Virginia Governor’s Energy Conference at Stonewall Resort. They are involved with a radio museum. Our friends were telling us about a short-wave radio recording made during the bombing of England by the Nazi’s. We know how the war came out so this is history. Imagine listing to that short wave recording live. It was probably terrifying knowing people were dying from those bombs and the listener didn’t know what was going to happen next.

The closest thing most of us can probably imagine to hearing that recording live was 9/11. We knew after the second plane hit the twin towers it wasn’t an accident. We didn’t know what would happen next. The attack brought us closer together as Americans. We united against a common enemy, just like we did to win World War II. My father fought with the Marines in the Pacific. My mother was one of millions of women who worked in a factory. Most men were in the military. Americans supported the war effort with gasoline rationing, war bonds, victory gardens and less consumer items to support our troops. We were a Team.  

At the first energy conference, lack of energy was our biggest problem. We had an “energy crisis”. We drove less. We reduced our lighting at Christmas. We were in the process of building a series of LNG terminals around the country to bring in natural gas from our “friends” at OPEC and Russia because we were “running out”. The common goal for the first Conference was USA energy independence. It was a stretch goal at the time. We had no idea the Marcellus and Utica would be so prolific. We didn’t have a technology at the time to develop it. Every energy source knew it had a job to do. We became an energy team.

A team is a group of people with a common purpose. We are used to seeing athletic teams. Whether they are professional or College representing a school or representing our Country like the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Their common goal is to win games. Industry and even charitable organizations use teams to get projects done because they are more effective than individuals. The Shale Crescent USA organization is a Team of individuals coming together with the common goal of bringing high wage jobs back to this Region to raise the standard of living of the people who live here.

Why do some teams succeed and others fail? Here are the keys to having a successful team based on my years of experience with athletic, corporate and other successful organizational Teams;

  • Leadership– this includes agreement to collaborate.
  • Individual and team rewards– they can be physical like money or intrinsic like a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Effective communication– everyone needs to know what the plan is and where the team stands.
  • Diversity– different skill sets and viewpoints are required. We don’t want a team full of people like us. We need people with talents and skills we don’t possess.
  • A common goal or vision everyone agrees with and commits to– This is the single most important element to a successful team. The focus needs to be success of the team. It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win. Our Shale Crescent USA Team has a passion for success. We know this is a once in a generation opportunity that can make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people in our Region. It is the right thing to do. We all have a passion for the goal.

The American energy team succeeded in ending the energy crisis. The natural gas and oil industry developed horizontal drilling technology and coupled it to the 70-year-old technology of hydraulic fracturing to open up shale reservoirs around the country including the Marcellus and Utica. Americans have saved billions of dollars thanks to this success. Wind and solar technology has improved and coal has gotten cleaner. We have learned how to use energy more efficiently. We are a large country. We need all energy sources.

The focus of the West Virginia Governor’s Energy Conference has changed from getting energy to creating jobs with clean, abundant and economical energy. Like any successful team diversity is essential and all sources need to work together. All energy sources including nuclear power were discussed at the conference. Coal is getting cleaner and is a good base load fuel. Wind and solar are becoming increasingly efficient and have a place in the energy mix. They require petrochemicals from fossil fuels to exist. They also need a dependable backup energy source when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing. Natural gas has become a cheap abundant energy source. More importantly it provides the feedstock for petrochemicals. The Shale Crescent USA presentation showed how we can bring high wage jobs to the Region because of our abundant economical energy and natural gas liquids for petrochemical feed stock.

AEP talked about the Utility Model of the Future. They have already had success reducing pollution from all sources. They have reduced their CO2 emissions by 60% since 2000 by creating cleaner coal power plants, using more natural gas, using more renewables and greater energy efficiency. This is significant since world CO2 emissions are UP 43% since 2000. USA CO2 emissions are down 14% since 2000.

It will take a diverse Team to be successful. An athletic team can be destroyed by people who are more concerned about themselves than the team. The is no room for the anti-fossil fuels crowd on a successful clean energy Team to create jobs.

We know what to do. This week’s energy conference was helpful. We are better together. Maybe it’s time for the rest of the USA and the world to follow our example.   

© 2019 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.