During a recent Leadership Forum, Council Advisory Board Member Todd Ennenga, Director of Government Affairs, Halliburton, addressed how the Biden Administration could impact the industry and discussed ways for individuals to get involved.
Ennenga discussed his background, how he got into government affairs and his journey in the oil and gas industry. He explained his current role at Halliburton, what government affairs professionals do and how the role works within various industries. Ennenga stressed the importance of reacting quickly to state and local issues, quantifying outcomes for all parties involved, not just his organization. He does this by including regulators in the broader industry in his analysis.
“The approach of quickly and accurately analyzing the data and understanding the impacts to your company, your industry and other industries dramatically improves the ability to engage and break through potential deadlocks.”Advisory Board Member Todd Ennenga, Halliburton
Ennenga shared statistics on how various industries are impacted by government or regulatory actions. He said not all industries have government affairs teams or groups, or they don’t put these groups on equal footing with other business functions.
This is typically because organizations lack resources or because of concerns that the investment in government affairs won’t generate a significant impact.
For companies that don’t have a government affairs team, Ennenga recommended working with the Energy Workforce & Technology Council and its dedicated Government Affairs team.
The November presidential election was more about the person than policy, Ennenga said, citing GOP gains in Congress, state and local contests. He also highlighted the historical composition of the new Congress.
“We now have the most diverse Congress in history. The 117th Congress has a record 141 women, and 28% of the House are racial or ethnic minorities. That’s a good thing, no doubt about it.”
Ennenga addressed the large number of executive orders issued on President Biden’s first day and how specific orders impact the oil and gas industry. He said Biden’s orders called for an array of agency reviews that will take time to conduct.
“You don’t hear as much about agency reviews in the media because those administrative reviews are a lot of sausage making,” Ennenga said. “Our government affairs team will be keeping a close eye on progress in this area.”
Ennenga discussed the newly released infrastructure package and tax plan.
“It’s a clean energy bill with components that would increase EPA oversight of some aspects of our business, including hydraulic fracturing liquids,” he said. “This would lead to increased requirements for disclosure of ingredients.”
Ennenga closed with a Q&A session for participants where he delved into the need for companies to stress test their operations for possible long-term federal leasing bans, ESG, the role of the sector in helping customers meet climate goals, and the social cost of carbon.
The Leadership Forum series, now in its seventh year, provides high performers with the opportunity to interact with Council Leadership in an informal setting. Check the Energy Workforce Upcoming Events for information on our next forum.