Reasons for Optimism in 2021 and Beyond

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President & CEO

I think we can all agree that 2021 has some high expectations to meet, as the world aspires to put the pandemic in our collective rear-view mirrors. While we know not all the ongoing issues from 2020 will disappear with the flip of a calendar, we are starting to see reasons for optimism – in both our industry and our personal lives. The vaccine rollout is finally hitting its stride, many workers will soon be returning to their commutes and the economy, while fragile, is entering a more stable position than it was last year. And the oil & gas industry is continuing to show strong signs of resilience, with some reasons for optimism.

This year we will continue to rebuild. While potential policy and legislative actions may continue to cause headwinds in creating a sustainable energy future that works for everyone, I feel confident that we can accomplish a lot, together. From working hard to maintain the positive elements of the Cap-and-Trade Program to using data to highlight the dangers of rushing into potential internal combustion engine and hydraulic fracking bans, we will be diligent this year – and beyond – to educate key stakeholders on best paths forward.

We need a collective energy strategy that works for the environment, the economy and communities, and we know WSPA’s member companies are already working toward these shared goals. To accomplish all that we hope to for a brighter year ahead, focusing on innovation and efficiency will be more critical now than ever. Throughout this year I am especially excited to watch how our members continue to elevate their investments and commitments to a sustainable energy future, as well as our collective approaches to problem-solving. Some of those reasons for optimism include:

  • Commitment to Sustainable Innovation: In addition to our sustained commitment to power our transportation and supply chain and keep the lights on at home and work, our member companies are also making big commitments to sustainable innovation. I believe Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) is one of the most exciting technologies in energy, and has the ability to align both the industry and environmental interests. Our member companies are investing billions to bring carbon capture and storage into the forefront of energy solutions.
  • Shared Interests through Policy Alignment: WSPA and our member companies alike have already taken actions to set up a strong and innovative future, showing that there is important common ground with some industry opponents. Together, we support the U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement, aligning with the goal of combatting climate change. Our industry is committed to playing an active role in fighting climate change while producing the diverse, collaborative energy mix we need for the future.
  • Solutions through Science-Based Strategies: Our industry has always believed in the need to use data and research to drive both business and policy strategies. We all share sustainability goals, and I’m a firm believer in showing the science and full spectrum of data to paint a real picture of future outcomes. This year more than ever the WSPA team will work with our members and communities across the Western U.S. to combat rash policy and regulatory hurdles to present data-driven solutions that work for everybody.

We’ve come out of 2021 stronger and more resilient – as an industry and as people. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the year ahead, and look forward to seeing more of the sustainable innovations that will help rebuild our industry, our economy and our communities.

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