Posted April 10, 2018
Men and women who’ve worn the uniform of the United States view “energy security” through a different lens than the rest of us. To many of them the American energy revolution – with oil production projected to reach 10.7 million barrels per day this year, and the U.S. becoming a net natural gas exporter for the first time in nearly 60 years – means our armed forces are less likely to be deployed to faraway places to protect energy interests.
The point was underscored at a Vets4Energy event today at API. Two of the attendees were Shirley White and Belinda Jividen, president and 1st vice chair, respectively, of the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers – the organization of mothers who’ve lost sons or daughters in service of the U.S. armed forces. Vets4Energy Program Director James McCormick, U.S. Army retired (pictured below), said energy security means reducing the likelihood of additional Gold Star families:
“Energy has been a national focal point since the early 1970s, when the Arab oil embargo made Americans realize that ready, cheap energy was not ready and not so cheap. Since then we’ve been through some gut-wrenching times of energy shortages, shocks to our economy because of energy prices, military conflicts fought in part over energy.”
Today, the U.S. leads the world in natural gas and oil production, making our country more energy secure and able, as McCormick said, to ensure that Americans have greater choice in where they become militarily involved. McCormick:
“It’s not about politics, it’s about common sense. … How do we sincerely create a national security posture that is impenetrable. I always say this – there’s two things you should never get from your enemies, and that’s your food and your fuel.”
API President and CEO Jack Gerard said one way the natural gas and oil industry recognizes the service of U.S. veterans is to work to create opportunity for them to “participate in the American energy renaissance” through post-military careers. Industry needs veterans and their skill sets, Gerard said.
According to a 2017 report, more than 1 million service members will transition out of the military over the next few years. There are numerous career opportunities they could take in our industry. Two websites help bring veterans and the natural gas and oil industry together.
Veterans Energy Pipeline.com has tools to assist veterans in identify ways their military experience translates into an energy career. Oil & Gas Workforce.com has a search tool to find specific job openings within industry, based on job type and desired location.
Other organizations represented at today’s event: American Gold Star Mothers Inc., American Legion, American Veterans Center, Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, Helmets2Hardhats, Korean War Veterans Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Veterans Service Officers Association, National Association of American Veterans Inc., Reserve Officers Association, The Alpha & The Omega Retreat Inc., U.S. Army Soldier for Life Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Wounded Paw Project.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.