Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM-02) hosted a roundtable event in Hobbs, New Mexico on June 2 to highlight ongoing challenges with energy production throughout the country. This event was the first field meeting of the Republican Energy Task Force, a collection of House legislators organized by Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) with a mission to find legislative solutions to the current energy issues facing Americans.
Herrell was joined by Energy Task Force Chairman Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA-06) and Task Force members Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA-08) and Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA-04). About 10 industry officials were invited to participate at the event, including Energy Workforce & Technology Council Member Company Brigade Energy Services, represented by Brigade CEO and Founder and Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Justin Bliffen.
Bliffen had the opportunity to share the challenges the energy services sector faces and offer suggestions on how legislators can support the industry to reinvigorate domestic production. A major topic of discussion was the cultural narrative and negative rhetoric the industry must battle, and how these attacks impact issues like talent recruitment, retention and opportunities for growth.
“Where the oilfield goes, where oil and gas goes, diversity and prosperity follow. We need to not only end the negative rhetoric towards the industry but flip it around and tell the story of the excellence of the industry.”Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Justin Bliffen, CEO, Brigade Energy Services
During the roundtable, Herrell explained the mission and goals of the Energy Task Force.
“What we decided to do as a task force group, was to ensure we are getting the information we need from around the nation, so that we can put together good policy decisions, whether it’s field operations, whether it’s banking, whether it’s regulation,” she said.
In her discussion about the impacts of energy on the lives of New Mexicans, Herrell specifically noted the breadth of representation at the event, from industry executives, to lenders and local elected officials, and how their voices were vital to developing meaningful solutions to the issues at hand.
Graves explained how members of the Energy Task Force were navigating the current political environment on Capitol Hill and planning for potential changes after the midterm elections. He noted the importance of a robust domestic industry not only to protect American energy security but also promote domestic prosperity. Adding to the discussion about narratives and rhetoric, Graves highlighted the industry’s accomplishments in technology and efficiency, and reiterated how the domestic industry was leading the way in emissions reductions.
“It’s actually the United States that’s leading the world in reducing emissions. Most people believe we’re the villain, we’re the bad guys, and have been increasing emissions. We’ve reduced emissions not one year, not two years, you can look back over a 17-year trend, we’ve reduced emissions more than the next emissions reducing countries combined,” Graves said.
The Energy Task Force will continue to meet with energy industry leadership and stakeholders across the country throughout the summer and fall. Energy Workforce will continue to lend advice and support to these Representatives as they develop legislation to promote and advance the industry.
If you are interested in Energy Workforce’s advocacy efforts or would like to join the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.