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Federal Overregulation Rises to Top Threat in Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Survey

Despite concerns, 556 U.S. oil and gas professionals indicate increased optimism about the industry in 2nd consecutive “Pulse of the Oil Patch” survey

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AUSTIN, Texas – March 22, 2022 – One year into the Biden presidency, federal overreach is the biggest threat for U.S. oil and gas professionals. This is according to the results of the second consecutive “Pulse of the Oil Patch” survey conducted by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. Representing a large cross-section of the industry, 556 survey respondents in 38 states and the District of Columbia provided input about the state of business, concerns, challenges, and priorities in 2022.


“Our survey found the overriding sentiment of U.S. oil and gas professionals is ‘get out of our way,’” said Jason Modglin, President of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. “U.S. producers want to meet the global demand for oil and gas, alleviating concerns about gas prices at home and unstable oil markets abroad. Federal intervention and shortages of materials, labor, and capital continue to present major challenges.”

Key findings from the 2022 survey, compared to 2021, include:
Regulation Tops List of Threats:
• “Federal overregulation” supplanted the “Price of oil” as the #1 threat in 2022.
• Respondents also chose “Regulatory/legislative issues” as one of their biggest challenges of 2022 (rose to #4).
• Other top threats include “Public opinion” (a new answer choice) and “Environmental activism/overreach” (both at 25%), and COVID-19 issues (23%).
Increase in Positivity:
• 51% of respondents are “Positive” or “Very Positive” about their business outlook, up from 34% in 2021. “Neutral” responses are down: 20% versus 37% in 2021.
• “Negative” and “Very negative” responses remained the same year over year: 29%. • 52% of respondents believe the oil and gas industry will be “Much better” or “Better” one year from now (versus 44% in 2021). “Much better” garnered 22% of responses versus only 6% last year. • One person out of 556 said “Much worse,” and “Worse” stayed at 18% year over year.


“Growing the business” Is the Top Challenge AND Priority:
• “Growing the business” overtook “Maintaining the business” to become the number one challenge and priority for 2022.
• Respondents elevated “Increase production” to the #2 priority, and half indicated their companies will “Increase drilling” in 2022.
• Respondents are more concerned this year about the challenges of “Expense control” (#2) and “Project completion delays” (#3).
• Employee turnover is of increasing concern for oil and gas professionals, with nearly 17% indicating it is a challenge versus 4% in 2021.


For more details about the survey results, visit https://texasalliance.org/.


About the Survey
Exactly 556 oil and gas professionals responded to a web-based survey between Jan. 17 and Feb. 14, 2022. Responses were solicited via social media and direct e-mails from Alliance and third-party databases. The survey respondents represent a broad spectrum of the U.S. oil and gas industry across 38 states and the District of Columbia:
• Independent producers (22%), energy service companies (17%), and professional services firms (14%) make up the majority. Water recyclers, midstream (pipelines), and major producers represent about 10% each.
• Texas represents 25% of the respondents while Pennsylvania comprises about 10%. All other states and Washington, D.C. represent 5% or less each.
• Executives, operations personnel, and geologists top the list of roles.
• 55% report their companies have between 51-250 employees while 28% have between 251-1,000 employees.


About Texas Alliance of Energy Producers
The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers is the most knowledgeable and effective statewide oil and gas association in the nation. Serving more than 3,000 members, the Alliance provides a voice for sound U.S. energy policy. These individuals and organizations – from small independents to publicly traded companies – are the driving force behind the U.S. energy renaissance. Founded in 1930, the Alliance celebrates its 91st anniversary this year. For more information, visit https://www.texasalliance.org/ and @TexasAllianceEP.

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Off the Wall

Mike - I took my family to see Top Gun the other night in Oklahoma City, and I was VERY disappointed to see you in an ad for the fossil fuel industry. I love Dirty Jobs and appreciate your scholarship program, but you should do your homework before associating yourself with organizations like the OERB. Our planet is in peril, and fossil fuels are the problem. America needs to get off oil and gas NOW!!! The UN said we have less than 12 years to avert an irreversible climate catastrophe – and that was three years ago! Please use your influence to help deliver that message before it’s too late.

Janice Calloway

Hi Janice

First, I’m delighted to hear that I shared the big screen with Tom Cruise! The Scientology stuff gives me the creeps, but Top Gun 2 was a terrific movie, and a great way to spend a few hours out of the summer heat. I sure hope I didn’t wreck it for you by espousing the virtues of energy independence.

Second, you’ll be pleased to know that I have in fact done my homework on climate change. I’ve also considered the UN’s doomsday prediction, looked at their evidence, listened to experts on both sides of the debate, and concluded that the earth is probably not going to end in 2031. bit.ly/3O9oF24. Obviously, I could be wrong. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do like this response from The Scientific American. bit.ly/3O9oF24. From the article:

“Doomsday scenarios may generate clicks and sell advertisements, but they always fail to convey that science is nuanced. Arbitrary "time left to apocalypse" predictions are not evidence-based, and the real story of climate change doesn't fit neatly into brief bullet points competing for your attention in today's saturated media environment. Stoking panic and fear offers a false narrative that can overwhelm readers, leading to inaction and hopelessness. Earth isn't ending in 12 years. It didn't end at Y2K or when the Mayan calendar predicted the collapse of civilization in 2012. Earth, as a whole, will be okay—for at least another few billion years.”

The Scientific American isn’t saying there’s nothing to worry about, and neither am I. We both believe the planet is warming, that the seas are rising, and that human activity is a contributing factor. For that reason, The Scientific American and I, along with everyone I know in the energy industry, is very supportive of the ongoing quest to find alternative ways to power America. Unfortunately, no alternative - except for nuclear - has so far demonstrated the potential to eventually replace fossil fuels, and right now, there’s more resistance to nuclear than there is to coal, oil, and gas. That’s tragic, in my view. For more on that, please watch this excellent Ted Talk by an environmentalist named Michael Shellenberger. bit.ly/3Oz68vV Here’s the short version.

After years of championing wind and solar, Shellenberger came to believe that both were fundamentally unreliable. Seventy percent of the time, the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow. He then concluded that we’d need to cover millions of acres of land with billions of solar panels and windmills to generate the energy America needs. In his words, “we’d have to destroy the environment to save the climate.” Shellenberger also determined that wind and solar were a disaster for wildlife. Wind turbines kill millions of birds and bats every year, many of which are either protected or endangered. Solar farms are also terrible for birds, many of which catch on fire when they fly over the panels and plummet to earth like flaming planes shot from the sky. In California, we call them “streamers.” The desert tortoise has been decimated as well, and now, the disposal of countless toxic solar panels is becoming hugely problematic.

Shellenberger then goes on to make a very persuasive case for nuclear energy, which he argues is much cleaner, much safer, and far more reliable than any other alternative. France gets 90% of its electricity from nuclear power. We could, too. The question is, why don’t we? What’s stopping us from vigorously pursuing the only viable alternative to fossil fuel? The answer I think, is fear. Ironically, the same kind of fear that’s got many people convinced the planet will end in nine years. The same kind of fear that leads to false narratives, inaction and hopelessness. The same kind of fear that makes people forget that the earth is still spinning, and we all share the same atmosphere. Consider this:

Right now, there are three billion people on this planet who burn millions of tons of wood and dung, every single day. That’s how they cook their food and stay warm. Obviously, three billion people burning millions of tons of wood and dung puts an enormous amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. With respect, Janice, do you have a message for them? Have you told them to get off wood and dung “NOW!!!” If not, how come? If so, what did you tell them to burn instead of wood and dung?

I’d also love your thoughts on China and India. Those two countries alone burn over 14 million tons of coal every single day. They’ve announced plans to build thousands of new coal-fired plants over the next thirty years - and not the clean-burning kind of coal we’ve developed over here. bloom.bg/3OhiWr1 Have you advised them to get off coal “NOW!!!” If not, how come? If so, what did you tell them to burn instead of coal?

It seems to me that CO2 levels around the world could be dramatically reduced if the billions of people currently relying on wood, dung, and coal were able to transition to natural gas. But that’s not what you’re proposing, Janice. In fact, you’re proposing the opposite. You want America to abandon oil and natural gas before we put a viable alternative in place, even as billions of people the world over double down on much dirtier sources of energy. With respect, how does that make sense? I understand you’re worried about the future – I am, too. The future is uncertain. But I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you what will happen today, if America takes your advice. In short, our entire economy will collapse, along with our military, our healthcare system, our transportation grid, and our food supply. Millions will freeze to death. Millions more will die in the heat. Many more will starve.

That’s not a doomsday prediction, that’s just a fact. Every single aspect of modern life depends on easy access to affordable, abundant energy, and wind and solar are not ready for primetime. bit.ly/3N3e33j Likewise, most of the products we rely on today are made from the petroleum you despise – the device you’re using right now, the clothes you’re wearing, the tires on your car, and the roads you drive it on. Including the road that brought you to that that (air-conditioned) theater where you sat in comfort, and looked on as Tom Cruise saved the world, (with a little help from jet fuel.)

Point is, Janice, we can’t just flip a switch. It doesn’t matter how many caps and exclamation points you employ, or how many doomsday predictions you quote. Abandoning oil and gas today won’t save the planet; it will merely return us to the Stone Age. In the same way we can’t sacrifice the environment to save the climate, we can’t destroy the present to save the future. We must adapt, as we always have, and I believe there’s reason for hope. I’ve seen some incredible production breakthroughs in the last few years that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Things like carbon recapture technology, which has the potential to bring energy companies to net zero carbon emissions in just a few years. exxonmobil.co/3A0Znio

Long-term, I still think the best hope for the most people is nuclear, and I hope we follow France’s example. But in the short-term, I see no better alternative than natural gas. What I don’t see, is one good reason to purchase the energy we need from a foreign county. There’s something fundamentally immoral about applauding the cancellation of pipelines, buying the fuel we need from places like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia, and then paying to have it shipped across the ocean. We have all the energy we need right under our feet – along with a much better, much safer, much cleaner way to extract it. Which is a long way of saying, that’s why you saw me sharing the big screen with Tom Cruise.

The Oklahoma Energy Resource Board is a nonprofit, educational foundation founded thirty years ago by royalty holders in the Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry. Their primary goal is to help Oklahomans understand their state’s unique contribution to our nation’s energy security. Initially, I was attracted to their workforce development message. In Oklahoma, the energy industry employs over 85,000 people, with an average salary over $136,000 a year. That’s over twice the state average, and right now, the industry is hiring in a big, big way. I wanted to help draw attention to those jobs. But the more we talked, the more I came to appreciate their advocacy around the topic of energy independence.

Today, the OERB is pushing back against the common but misguided belief that oil and natural gas are our enemy, and they’re doing so in a way that I find respectful, courteous, educational, and most of all, persuasive. The message you saw was one of several that feature unscripted conversations between me and dozens of Oklahomans about the many ways oil and natural gas have positively impacted their lives. You can see more at OERB.com. Or, you can return to another (air-conditioned) theater next summer, where I'm liable to pop up during the previews of Mission Impossible, just before Tom Cruise saves the world again. (With a little help from oil and natural gas.)

Either way, Janice, I’ll see you around!

Mike
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