DALLAS—Many energy executives struggle with the growing emphasis on ESG—environmental, safety and governance—issues. And well they should, speakers at the EnerCom Dallas investor conference Feb. 11-12 cautioned. 

Meanwhile, another trend grows: Investors want value—returns on their capital—not growth, they added.

“ESG is not a flash in the pan,” James Wicklund, managing director with Stephens Inc., cautioned in his presentation. “The goal is to be the best there is” in an industry focused on producing out-of-favor, carbon-based fuels. A producer can’t compete environmentally with an office-bound information technology firm, for example, but that producer can work to keep its environmental impact less than that of similar-sized peers.

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