We live in trying times. But anyone who has kicked around the oil patch for more than a couple of years knows that this industry is characterized by its ups and downs, and very often the ups – breakthrough technology, a new business model – and downs – ridiculous legislation, a new dictator nationalizing yet another oil company – are the result of individuals who, good or bad, make decisions that change the course of history. This year Hart Energy Publishing will produce a special report titled “Industry Icons: The Most Influential People in Energy for the Next Decade 2010-2019.” All of the Hart editors get out into the industry on a regular basis, talk to people, interview people, network with people, and I think by and large we do a pretty good job. But we can’t be out there all the time, and we can’t be all over the world as much as we’d like to be. So we’re asking for your input. Think of the people in your company, your trade organization, your general sphere of influence, who you think will do great things some day. This could be the 30-something in your research group who always is driving the next great idea or the middle manager whom everyone expects to be CEO of the company in 10 years. It could be someone who has labored in obscurity for several years working on a pet project and is about to have his or her moment in the sun. It could even be someone on the verge of retirement whom you think will go on to do even greater things once the fetters of full-time employment are lifted. Then think of those other people whose influence you fear, whose policies you complain to your politicians about on a regular basis, or whose scientific facts and figures run so counter to common logic that you scream at the television every time this person is interviewed. They will have an impact as well. Now that you’re done thinking, let me know – send me an e-mail telling me how and why this person is influential. Where are they working? What are they working on? What are they advocating? What is their background? How will they influence the next decade? We hope to spotlight your top picks for “Most Influential” for the next decade. I look forward to hearing from you.