March 19, 2020
This column originally appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald, which can be viewed here.
In America, it’s comforting to know we can have energy security in the midst of financial and market insecurity. COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, has thrust our nation into uncharted territory. As families, businesses and our leaders do their parts to help slow the spread of the virus, the oil and natural gas industry is part of the critical infrastructure that will help to keep Texans safe, fueled up and stocked in the coming weeks and months.
The drop in global oil prices, coupled with the emergence of COVID-19, has created unusually difficult circumstances to be sure. We are confident that the underlying economic structure in America will enable our country to persevere.
The Texas oil and natural gas industry is no stranger to volatile swings and operators have proven themselves nimble and innovative in challenging times. We are fortunate in Texas to have the energy infrastructure in place to continue to responsibly produce, transport and refine oil and natural gas into the fuels, products and power that Texans need. As the nation’s leader in oil and natural gas production, pipeline miles and refining capacity, Texas is well equipped to continue meeting our energy and everyday needs.
Oil and natural gas are vital to ensuring our country is readily able to endure this storm considering that 96 percent of our daily products are made with components of oil and natural gas. Beyond the fuel in our cars, our nation’s supply chain depends heavily on our products and we stand ready to continue supporting all industries, communities and families every day.
While many of these products provide everyday comforts, a sense of security may be the most coveted emotion in times like these. As we weather this season together, Texans can rest assured that when we flip a switch, the lights will turn on. When we fire up the stove, natural gas will burn blue. When we need to make essential trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, there will be fuel at the corner station. Essential supplies will continue to make their way across our state because 18-wheelers have the diesel they need to keep rolling. All of this is possible because Texas has the most robust energy infrastructure system in the nation to meet our needs.
Remaining calm and adhering to normal purchasing behaviors is one of the best ways we can help one another during this time. Know that the oil and natural gas industry is hard at work behind the scenes so that you have the power, products and fuels you need. While these are unprecedented and unsettling times, our nation’s energy security is intact.