2020 – A Year of Innovation in Motion

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President

There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for us all, but as we move into 2021 we share a renewed sense of hope that even in tough times our industry and our people will continue innovating to create a resilient energy infrastructure that ensures a safe and prosperous future for us all.

We know this because of the unprecedented year we all experienced – where we were asked to be nimbler and more flexible than ever before to deliver safe and reliable fuels. And in doing so, we didn’t stop innovating, we didn’t stop searching for opportunities to better our people, our processes, systems, and products. That is what we call Innovation in Motion – a spirit of constant progressive thinking that propels us forward. In fact, it’s the very definition of innovation to continue evolving, making better and more informed decisions despite the challenges to better shape the future of our industry and our work.

One such example from 2020 is the innovation and collaborative work that has happened around Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) – a suite of technologies that has the propensity for major climate change and is being called “a game changer” by world renowned scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because of its capabilities of removing large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. CCUS can help significantly reduce carbon emissions from many sectors (oil production, refining, biofuels, cement manufacturing, power generation, agriculture, dairy, etc.).  And WSPA member companies have been working hard in a collaborative process to bring awareness and education to the benefits of CCUS and moving us closer to designing and obtaining the permitting needed for our facilities to bring this innovation to scale.

We know there’s a lot more work to be done, particularly in California, if we want to reach our aggressive climate goals, but we also know an ongoing investment in sustainable innovation is critical to the action needed to fight climate change. Too often we close ourselves off to creative solutions because of political divides or differing points of view — and if we’ve learned anything from 2020, we’ve learned we have to remain flexible, look at every option, and collaboratively explore all possible solutions. While we may not always agree on everything, we can align on an energy vision and commitment that supports our people, our planet and our shared prosperity.

Our industry and our people stand ready to continue innovating and working collaboratively toward a resilient energy infrastructure and a safe and prosperous future for us all. We hope you’ll join us in this pursuit of constant progressive thinking that will propel us forward.

Wishing you the best that 2021 can bring.

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