Remembering What, and Who, We’re Fighting for at the 2020 WSPA Annual Conference

Written by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President

This year, it was my honor to deliver the keynote address at the 2020 WSPA Annual Conference, which was held, for the first time, on a virtual platform!

While I missed seeing my friends and colleagues in person, I was so proud of my team for putting together a seamless, educational, and innovative conference that brought us all together. This was an important time for us to take a breath as an industry and re-focus on our shared mission: a sustainable energy future for everyone.

It’s no secret that this has been a challenging year. COVID. Economic turmoil. Wildfires. Power outages. It’s been a lot to handle, for all of us.

Despite these challenges, I’m so glad that our industry took the time to get together and remind one another of what – and who – we’re fighting for. Even with all of these challenges, it’s still up to each of us to power the state’s responses to wildfires, pandemics, and crises. It’s up to us to power our economic recovery.

It’s up to us to keep working towards a truly sustainable energy future. It’s what we do!

When I spoke to our Annual Conference attendees last week, I was speaking to some of the hardest-working, most dedicated, resilient people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

The men and women of this industry work hard. I get to see it every day.  And there isn’t a single person working in this industry who doesn’t want a cleaner, safer, more sustainable planet.

It’s this hardworking problem-solving mentality that:

  • Keeps us operating safely and successfully under the most stringent environmental regulations in the world.
  • Pushes our ever-evolving industry to continue to innovate and adapt.

As I like to say to my colleagues, we’ve been evolving ever since the horse and buggy – it’s in our nature!

Despite the changes we’ve all experienced in the past year, there are some things that will never change:

  1. We will never stop advocating, fiercely, for the women and men of our industry.
  2. We will never stop pushing for policies based on science and data.
  3. We know that facts, not fears, must shape our energy future if we want to protect our environment, our economic prosperity, and our sense of social equality.

As we continue innovating, creating and advancing, we must remember that our future is dependent on a diverse energy mix – not one that puts all of our eggs in one basket. Oil and gas will continue as a part of our energy mix for decades while we work towards a diversified energy portfolio that ensures resiliency, affordability, and reliability for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

It’s time to come together, to work together, to innovate together, to collaborate together. We have the expertise, science, data, engineering know-how and the experience to tackle the energy challenges we face right now. This year’s Annual Conference was a wonderful reminder of this fact.

As we like to say at WSPA – there’s power in everybody. When we work together, listen to one another, and strive towards a common goal, we can achieve a future that supports all Californians. Together.

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