Eavesdropping in Houston
Overheard: Oil and gas experts weigh in on the future of low-carbon energy and Houston's role in the movement
As the energy capital of the world, Houston can't get complacent. The oil and gas industry is changing — carbon is out and finding clean energy alternatives is in.
At the 2020 KPMG Global Energy Conference on June 5 and 6, hundreds of energy professionals listened to the O&G elite — even including former Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson — give their two cents about the revolution. Day two of the conference featured the Houston Low Carbon Energy Climate Summit by the Center for Houston's Future.
In case you missed it, here are a few powerful quotes from both days of the program — from Houston's role in the low-carbon energy movement to Tillerson's leadership expertise.
"Texas is one of those places where you can just get stuff done.”
— Cindy Yeilding, senior vice president at BP, says Texans are willing to collaborate on this. In the "Visions of our Energy Future" panel during the Low Carbon Energy Summit on Thursday, June 6, she predicted Houston will be a net zero carbon city by 2040 or 2035.
“One of the things we need to focus on is being able to attract and retain talent.”
— Mary Anne Brelinsky, CEO of EDF Trading, stressing the importance of talent in the effort to keep Houston the energy capital of the world. Brelinsky advocated for corporations and its execs getting involved with local universities. "We're competing against Silicon Valley," she says in the panel.
"You’ve got the source, and you’ve got the sinks. … Houston is going to be one of our focal points.”
— Charlene Olivia Russell, vice president of Low Carbon Strategies at Oxy, on how Houston is set up for success when it comes to staying as a power player in the global low carbon energy platform, but, during the panel, she emphasizes collaboration needs to continue happening.
“When Shell agreed to sponsor this summit, it was pitched as a climate change summit. It was changed to a low-carbon summit because some people in this room are uncomfortable with the phrase 'climate change.'"
— Jason Klein, vice president of U.S. Energy Transition Strategy at Shell, says at the "Energy Transformations" panel during the Low Carbon Energy Summit on Thursday, June 6.
"If we want to be the leader and the energy capital of the world, we need to attract talent, capital investment, and innovation, and if the people are going to do those things think that we don’t even like to talk about those things, then they aren’t going to come here — they’re going to go to San Francisco.”
— Klein continues. The audience responded with a round of applause.
“I think it is important as Americans to remember that our greatest strength and the most important element to our national security has been that we are a nation that has many allies and friends. Our adversaries — Russia, China, North Korea, Iran — have no allies or friends.”
— Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who served as CEO of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016. Tillerson discussed a wide range of topics on Wednesday, June 5, at the 2020 KPMG Global Energy Conference in his fireside chat with Regina Mayor, global sector head and U.S. national sector leader of energy and natural resources at KPMG US. Click here to watch the full interview.
“We’re all a work in progress. You’re never done. I’m not done — I’m still a work in progress. If you have that view and you have that set of values that are never going to change … [then] I can keep developing as a human being.”
— Tillerson says of leadership lessons learned. He's an avid proponent of the Boy Scouts of America organization, and cited many valuable lessons he's learned about himself and about leading people from his involvement in the nonprofit.