With escalating concerns around climate change, the oil and gas industry is under fire to reduce emissions more than ever. But the discussions surrounding the negative impacts of the energy industry are “far from reality,” according to Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services and strong advocate of the industry.
“Everyone has been disappointed with the dialogue around energy,” Wright said. “I’ve been an energy nerd since I was a kid. Energy is complicated, but critical.”
“But the last five years have gotten so far away from reality,” he continued, “that it is alarming and disturbing and, quite frankly, damaging.”
In an exclusive interview, Wright told Hart Energy’s Faiza Rizvi that there has been a lot of dialogue around the negative impacts of the oil and gas industry, which are “real and should be acknowledged.” However, he also stressed the need to understand the benefits of the oil and gas industry and how plentiful and affordable energy is absolutely critical across several industries including health care and transportation.
Jump to a topic:
- Liberty’s first-ever ESG report (0:33)
- Effective ESG reporting (2:55)
- North Face campaign (8:57)
- Future trends of ESG (22:02)
“If you look at the bigger picture, our industry causes a dime of damage to the world and a dollar of benefit,” he said. “The benefits versus the costs are enormously larger.”
In June, Liberty Oilfield Services released its inaugural ESG report titled “Bettering Human Lives,” providing a comprehensive review of the relationship between energy, poverty and climate change.
“At Liberty, we tried to do our little part based on numbers and facts, put a little more perspective around the oil and gas industry…We always talk about the dime of damage, but [in the report] we have evaluated both sides of the story to make better decisions,” Wright said of the report.
For example, in early June, Wright and his team launched a campaign targeting outdoor industry stalwart The North Face after it refused to fulfill an order of making co-branded jackets for Innovex because it’s an oil and gas company. The campaign, in which Wright thanked North Face for being a “valuable customer of the oil and gas industry,” went viral and Wright was applauded for taking a stand for the fossil fuel industry.
Commenting on the campaign, Wright said he saw it as an opportunity to communicate about the critical role of oil and gas.
“The outdoor industry is entirely enabled by oil and gas,” he explained. “North Face makes great gear and I’ve been a fan of North Face for a long time but just going with the trend of saying ‘oil and gas is bad because our customers need to hear this’—we need to change that.”
Further, Wright went through North Face’s website of wide-ranging products and said he failed to find a single product that wasn’t made out of oil and gas.
“So, for North Face to come out and say ‘we’re not going to make jackets for an oil and gas company because we are against the oil and gas industry’ is like bees shunning honey…everything they do is simply impossible without oil and gas,” he added.
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