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Jordan Soto, Hart Energy Staff: We are here with Ryan Sitton, CEO of Pinnacle. Thank you so much for being here. There's a lot of excitement in the air. What are you most excited about for this evening?
Ryan Sitton: It's such an incredible roster of people. The large company CEOs, the entrepreneurs, the technology leaders, the Change Agents, the Hall of Fame. To be on the list is humbling. It's so cool to see all these people in one place.
JS: There's a lot of movers and shakers here. You're one of them. As you've looked at your career, what's been an impactful moment in the energy sector that's resonated with you? It could be an event or a moment.
RS: Yeah, I'll tell a couple because one thing that happens a lot of times in places like this and these sort of scenes, people think of, oh, these huge oil companies and the people that lead them as these faces. I'm going to tell a story about two that are actually on the list with me. One was [T.] Boone Pickens. I was at Boone Pickens' ranch one time. I got invited up there as a part of the Lt. Gov. of Texas' energy panel. While we're there, people are just moving around talking energy policy and one moment it's just Boone and I sitting at a table, everybody gets up and leaves, and Boone and I are talking about raising kids. And he's sharing what it was like to raise children when -- Boone didn't come from money and he'd never raised kids around money and how hard that was for him.
And I'm not blessed like he was, but … my parents were both teachers and so it was just enthralling for me to hear him talking about this. Fast forward a couple of years later, I'm talking to Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer. Wildly successful guy. And the same thing happens. He and I are talking about policy and business and we start talking about parenting. He's talking about his son Clyde, and you see how personal it gets and how when you're talking about [these] men, the great thing that unites all of us as parents, and so to see these two just titans of industry talking to me as just fathers, and here's what it's like to raise children. Man, you never felt the world be so small as I did in those moments. That was really special.
JS: When we look at the energy industry, I think that's one factor that does get missed a lot is the human factor. And when we're looking at the transition, we're looking at this change. There's really room for all forms of energy, but what does that look like, not only on the personal human factor, but for the energy industry as a whole? How does that balance play out between fossil fuels and the transition?
RS: It's hard for me not to give a long lecture on this because back in the mid 1800s, we were in the middle of an energy transition. We're transitioning from whale oil to what they called rock oil at the time, which today we just call oil. Then fast forward to the early 1900s, we're transitioning from kerosene to light houses to electricity, and so energy transition has been a constant in the United States and in the world. And today we approach energy transition as if it's some sort of boogeyman, or if you are not energy transition, then you hate the planet. Nothing could be further from the truth. And so I think to think instead, "Hey, energy transition is a constant," and our job as leaders in this space is to say, "We're going to be part of that transition. We're going to be thoughtful about it.
We're going to make sure we do it in a way that serves the human race." And when I talk to leaders across industry, that's what I get. Unfortunately, that gets lost in the political world. And I would love to see our dialogue become more about, "Hey, we're going to need oil and gas for the rest of my life." And if we don't do it responsibly, then everybody pays: the environment, citizens of the United States and other ... other countries. At the same time, we are looking for those opportunities to invest. We don't need to be defensive about it. Let's get excited about it and seize those opportunities when they come. So as you can tell, I'm excited about the opportunities that come with it, and I just wish we could get past all the baloney and share that excitement together.
JS: Well, there's a lot more excitement to be had a lot more change to be had. Thank you so much for being a part of that change, and we look forward to continuing watching your journey. Thank you so much. Thank you.
RS: Good to meet you.
JS: This is Hart Energy Live's 50th anniversary in Hall of Fame celebration.
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