Industry Experts: More Infrastructure Needed for Energy Independence
Terry-Cobo, Sarah, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Energy independence is possible in the next decade or two, but more infrastructure is needed, energy industry experts said at the Southern States Energy Board conference Tuesday.
In order to build pipelines and drill for oil and natural gas, energy companies must maintain the trust of the public, William Whitsitt, executive vice president of Devon Energy Corp., said to a crowd of about 50 people at the Renaissance Hotel. The industry must communicate with moderate people who don't hold the extreme view that society must stop using all fossil fuels.
"We have to understand there are real legitimate concerns that are raised," Whitsitt said. "We have to be responsive, otherwise we have to run the risk of losing that social license to operate."
Whitsitt and Continental Resources Vice Chairman of Strategic Growth Initiatives Jeff Hume discussed the need to protect the environment so communities won't protest energy companies operating in their proverbial backyards. The only way to reduce imports from the Middle East is to increase the energy production in the United States. But there aren't enough pipelines to get this oil to market.
That is in part why Continental is using trains to transport crude from North Dakota's Bakken Shale rock formation to markets in Washington and Pennsylvania.
"The public scrutiny we're facing today, you need to embrace and welcome it," Hume said.
Robert Jones, senior vice president of TransCanada, said that many more pipelines are needed to transport North American crude to the market. …